Devon Harris

Category: Olympians
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Jamaica: a small island nation in the middle of the Caribbean, known worldwide for it beaches, Bob Marley, and its… bobsled team? With an average winter temperature of around 80°F, snow is a real commodity down there. Nonetheless, nothing could stop Olympic athlete and sports speaker Devon Harris from achieving his goal. As a child he was an avid soccer player and a track and field star. His goal was to represent his island nation in the 1984 Summer Olympics. After completing secondary school, Harris enrolled at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in England. While there, he came across a proposal for a Jamaican bobsled team. At first he thought the idea was ridiculous, but seeing this as just the opportunity he was looking for to make it to the Olympics, the idea grew on him and by the time the team selection came around, Harris completed the fastest push time of all of the winter Olympics-hopefuls. In their first Olympic games, the Jamaican bobsled team did not even have their own bobsled, and instead had to borrow practice sleds from other teams. As documented in the wildly popular Disney movie, “Cool Runnings”, the team crashed in Harris competed in a total of three Olympics, and by the time he retired he was in the top-30 in the world. Since his retirement, Harris has worked as a motivational speaker, speaking at keynotes in front of thousands of people around the world. His central message is to “keep on pushing”, that all obstacles in life are surmountable, even if you want to race bobsleds without snow. Harris has also penned two books, a children’s book titled “Yes, I Can!”, and a motivational self-help semi autobiography titled “Keep On Pushing: Hot Lesson From Cool Runnings.” In 2006 Harris founded the Keep on Pushing Foundation and is an athlete ambassador for the Right to Play organization. Through both movements, he is able to help encourage education and athletics for underprivileged communities around the world.