Bobsled Olympian joins students at the Culinary Arts Academy to discuss dreams

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HARTFORD -- At the Culinary Arts Academy, a magnet school in Hartford, there was a taste of winter in the hallways for the beginning of spring -- the Winter Olympics.

The students got a visit from one of the original members Jamaican Olympic bobsled team who brought a message with him. Devon Harris the athlete that the movie "Cool Runnings," which came out in 1993, was based on, and he speaks to kids all over the country.

"That's the idea: to connect with them," Harris said before speaking in an auditorium of about 70 students. "I'm from a challenging background and these kids come from a challenging background, so hopefully we have a meeting of the minds."

Harris spoke for close to an hour, showing the students pictures of his humble beginnings in Jamaica and videos of some of this Olympic bobsled runs. He competed in 1988, 1992 and 1994.

Devon Harris at the Culinary Arts Academy

Devon Harris at the Culinary Arts Academy

Quintaja Faniel, a Culinary Arts Academy junior, said of Harris, "He was really motivational, a lot of things he said today, I am going to take into consideration."

Fellow junior Braheem Francis added, "Your dream is your dream, no one can take that away from you."

Harris, who now lives in Rockland County, New York, was brought to Hartford by the Hartford Marathon Foundation to help promote its upcoming Legends 4-Mile race in Middletown.

Harris also spoke with high school  students later in the afternoon, delivering his similar inspirational message. "I get to speak about what happened to me," Harris said, "but most importantly, I speak about the power of perusing your dreams."