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BOBSLED TEAM HITS HOT SPOTS FOR `COOL RUNNERS’ TO GET GOLD

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Are you strong and fast and looking for a good workout in the summer heat?

How about trying out for the U.S. Olympic bobsled team in such "cool-weather" states as North Carolina, Georgia and Texas?No kidding.

The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, taking a lead from "Cool Runnings," the popular movie about the Jamaican bobsled team, will hold its first BurliMan Bobsled Push Tour in July.

The federation has contacted football coaches, military bases and health clubs in Raleigh, Atlanta, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, and Mobile, Ala. - looking for athletes who want to be part of the Olympic dream.

The summer tour begins July 3-4 in Raleigh. The top three finishers at each site will be invited to attend an August camp at Lake Placid, N.Y., then try out for the 1998 Olympic team that will compete in Japan.

"It's kind of a funny situation," said Terry Kent, a spokesman for the bobsled federation. "Bobsledding is unique because we can take an athlete with a lot of strength and speed and they can get into our sport right away and make an immediate impact.

"We're trying to capitalize on a novelty. We're trying to get the athletes out to look at our sport and be a part of it."

A case in point is NFL running back Herschel Walker, who competed in the two-man event in the 1992 winter games in France. Also, former Duke football player Randy Jones was part of team that won a bronze medal in the 1993 World Championships - the first U.S. medal in that competition since 1969.