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Va. Mayor Who Inspired Disney's "Cool Runnings" Dies

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    Va. Mayor Who Inspired Disney's "Cool Runnings" Dies
    Washington Post/Getty Images
    George Fitch (Photo by Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

    George Fitch, one of the men behind the Jamaican bobsled team that inspired Disney's "Cool Runnings" and the former mayor of Warrenton, Virginia, died Tuesday, Mayor Powell Duggan confirmed.

    Fitch, who served as mayor of the northern Virginia town for 16 years, had cancer.

    “The town is deeply saddened by the death yesterday of our former mayor, George Fitch," read a statement from Duggan. "Please keep his wife Patricia and his family in your prayers."

    Fitch's role in the Jamaican bobsled effort was part of the inspiration for John Candy's character in the 1993 movie. But Fitch's life before the creation of the bobsled team varied greatly from what was seen on-screen.

    "I was personally offended by the film because I'm not a disgraced Olympic bobsledder who's a drunk, who's spending the rest of my life in some pool hall. But that's Hollywood," Fitch told ESPN.

    Fitch was living in Jamaica when he decided the country's top sprinters would be perfect for bobsledding after watching a pushcart derby.

    Fitch became mayor of Warrenton in 1998.