Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards

From Academic Kids

Michael Edwards (b. 5 December 1963) better known as Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards was the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic Ski jumping.

Eddie was born in Cheltenham and was working as a plasterer when he qualified for the 1988 Winter Olympics ski-jump competition. He had previously represented Britain at the 1987 World Championships, and was ranked 55th in the world at ski jump. He qualified simply because no other Briton applied. He was handicapped by his weight -- at about 180 pounds, more than 20 pounds heavier than the next heaviest competitor -- and by his lack of financial support for training -- he was totally self-funded -- and so he finished last in both the 70m and 90m events. Other problems was that his glasses fogged so he couldn't see and that he was afraid of heights. However his evident courage, his irreverent character and his lack of success warmed people to him all across the globe. The worse he did, the more popular he became. He subsequently became a media celebrity and appears on talk-shows around the world.

He released a book called On the piste (ISBN 0233994971) and much later a song called Fly Eddie Fly that reached the Top 50 in England. Though he doesn't know much Finnish, Eddie also recorded this song in Finnish, in which it was titled 'Mun nimeni on Eetu' ('Eetu's my name'). Eddie's less-than-perfect pronunciation adds to its appeal.

de:Eddie Edwards

pl:Eddie Edwards

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