Stuart Iain Thorpe
Born: August 20, 1965 (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Died: August 16, 2014 (Calgary, Alberta)
Stu Thorpe was hired to coach Dudley Stokes as driver of the famed Jamaican bobsled team prior to the 1994 Winter Olympics. The Jamaicans finished 14th of 30 teams competing on the Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track in Norway.
Stokes was a Jamaican military helicopter pilot and was joined on the crew by his brother Chris Stokes, a sprinter, as well as world-class athletes Wayne Thomas and Winston Watt.
In 1993, Thorpe worked as a stunt driver for the filming of the movie “Cool Runnings” about the exploits of the Jamaican bobsled team, which caught the world’s imagination during the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary for the passion the Caribbeans brought to an unlikely winter sport.
Thorpe competed on the FIBT (Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et Toboganing) Cup circuit, which is designed for B-team, or developing, athletes. A driver, he often competed with Oliver Sturmer as brakeman.
He was a longtime official for the Alberta Bobsleigh Association.
Born in Scotland, he immigrated to Canada when he was five weeks old and lived at Dawson Creek, B.C. the family later moved to Calgary. He was a labourer and landscape gardener who also volunteered for the fire department at Chestermere, Alta.