Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards
Michael Edwards better known as Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, was the first competitor to represent the Great Britain team in Olympic Ski jumping. In 1988 he became the first competitor since 1929 to represent GB in Olympic ski jumping finishing last in the 70 m and 90 m events. In 2016, he was portrayed by Taron Egerton in the biographical film Eddie the Eagle.
Eddie was handicapped by his weight being more than 9 kg heavier than the next heaviest competitor, and by his lack of financial support for training – he was totally self-funded. He eventually finished last in both the 70m and 90m events. Another problem was that he was very farsighted, requiring him to wear his glasses at all times, even though when skiing they fogged to such an extent that he could not see. He also said he was scared of heights.
However, his lack of success endeared him to people all across the globe. The worse he did, the more popular he became. He subsequently became a media celebrity and appeared on talk shows around the world. The press nicknamed him “Mr. Magoo”, and one Italian journalist called him a “ski dropper”.
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