Eddie Eddie Eddie. where would we be without you? You made us laugh, you made us cry you gave us a little tear in our eye.
The great Eddie the Eagle was the first ever ski jumper that Britain ever had. Unfortunately he was very familiar with the position that many people call LAST. He was a qualified plasterer (should have stuck to the day job Eddie!) In the 1987 world championships he represented Great Britain. He was ranked 55th in the world. The year after, he was the only British participant at the 1988 Calgary games. He was at a severe disadvantaged being 9kg heavier than the second heaviest ski-jumper. He was totally self funded and had very short sighted. So there was no pressure on him. Thank Goodness there wasn't pressure, as he stormed to a impressive LAST place.
However there was a funny equation or formala which ignited his popularity. (Work this out) The worse he did + last place = more sympathy + popularity. Nowadays, well you can see for your self the difference. HoweverThe widespread attention that Edwards received in Calgary turned into a large embarrassment for the ski jumping establishment. To everyones suprise at the closing ceremony the president of the Games singled him out for his contribution: "At this Games some competitors have won gold, some have broken records and one has even flown like an eagle." At that moment, 100,000 people in the stadium roared 'Eddie, Eddie!'. It was the first time in the history of the games that an individual athlete had been mentioned in the closing speech. After the games he became very popular. The press called him 'Mr. Magoo', one Italian journalist even called him 'ski dropper' (remember the debacle over Yuvraj Singh being called a 'pie chucker' by Kevin Peitersen) see the resemblance? As Eddie is the only British ski-jumper he still holds the British record for longest jump. It was a big jump for a guy who practiced in his back garden. I just hope that more British atheletes shine through at the Vancouver 2010 games.