Bobsleigh star and Cool Runnings movie inspiration visits Hartlepool company

A logistics firm has welcomed a visit from a four-time Olympian and the inspiration of hit movie Cool Runnings.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 4:45 am

Dudley “Tal” Stokes, who inspired the 1993 Disney film about the Jamaican bobsleigh team he founded, reached out to Hartlepool’s Hogg Global Logistics to congratulate them on winning Best New Business at the Tees Businesswomen Awards in 2020.

Managing director Lyndsay Hogg has said his message left her “star struck” and they kept in touch until Dudley made the trip to their offices in Stranton to meet in person.

Lyndsay, who founded the company in 2019 alongside her father Graham Hogg, said: “I actually couldn’t believe that our award win news had reached as far as Turks and Caicos, where Tal lives now.

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Lyndsay Hogg with Dudley ‘Tal’ Stokes at the Hogg Global Logistics office in Hartlepool.

"To say I was star struck was an understatement. We had a couple of email exchanges and I explained that I loved his story and what an inspiration he had been to me when I was younger.

"Tal is now the coach of the Jamaican Bobsleigh team and he is considering setting up a base in Middlesbrough to train athletes but alongside this he hopes to encourage fitness routines within companies and schools locally.”

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Lyndsay has said that Cool Runnings was her favourite film when she was younger and she and her brother Kevin “probably knew the film word for word”.

From left to right: Lynday Hogg, Charlie Hogg, 2, Graham Hogg, Dudley ‘Tal’ Stokes and Helen Hogg.

She said: “Tal told us he didn’t actually like the film when it came out as it was portrayed as a comedy and it was a very sad time for the bobsleigh team after they had a serious crash in 1988.

"He did say though, that his children love the film and that has made him change his opinion over the years.”

Lyndsay has added Dudle has offered to work with her to help her incorporate fitness in her busy routine.

She said: “Tal will make regular visits back to Hartlepool from his base in Middlesbrough where he is staying with former world bobsleigh champion Nicola Minichiello and her partner, bobsleigh coach Jo Manning, until he flies back to Turks and Caicos next month and the motivation will continue via zoom meetings.

Dudley ‘Tal’ Stokes visited the company in Hartlepool at the end of October. From left to right: Joel Hogg, 10, Lyndsay Hogg and Dudley ‘Tal’ Stokes .

"This is something I have needed the encouragement to do for a while. So I feel like Tal was sent to motivate me back to fitness.”

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