Eddie the Eagles coming to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort & Golden on the 26th Feb and both the town and resort are getting revved up to greet him – but who is Eddie, what did he really do – here’s a list of 20 things that tell you the real facts about the man behind the Glasses…
1. Eddie the Eagle’s real name is Michael Edwards, and he was born in the UK in Dec 1963 – making him 53.
2. Eddie was a nickname given to him at school – based on his last name.
3. Eddie learnt to ski on a dry ski slope in the UK and quickly became an accomplished downhill skier, narrowly missing out on being selected for the Great Britain ski team at the 1984 Games.
4. He is an excellent skier & qualified ski instructor.
5. Eddie began jumping in Lake Placid, using borrowed equipment, – he had to wear six pairs of socks to make the boots fit.
6. He was disadvantaged by his weight—at about 82 kg (181 lb.), more than 9 kg (20 lb.) heavier than the next heaviest competitor
7. He was very farsighted wearing thick glasses under his goggles, which would mist up at altitude. He has since had eye surgery so no longer wears his signature eyepieces.
8. Due to a his lack of financial support for training he was totally self-funded.
9. Eddie worked as a plasterer and even slept in a disused Finnish mental hospital for a short time to save enough money to keep his Olympic dreams alive.
10. Eddie first represented Great Britain at the 1987 World Championships and was ranked 55th in the world. This performance qualified him, as the sole British applicant, for the 1988 Winter Olympics.
11. After the 88 Games he was the British ski jumping record holder.
12. Eddies jumping number at the Calgary 88 Olympics was 24 not 42 – a photo reve
rsed for publication has led to this confusion.
13. After the 1988 Olympics, the entry requirements were strengthened in order to make it impossible for anyone to follow in his footsteps.
14. Post 88 Eddie carried on training but, despite making huge advances in performance, he failed to qualify for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville (France), the 1994 Games in Lillehammer (Norway) and 1998 Games in Nagano (Japan).
15. After retiring from ski jumping, Eddie went on the become the world number nine in amateur speed skiing, (106.8 mph / 171.9 km/h).
16. Eddie released a book called ‘On the Piste’
17. Eddie has recorded several pop songs in Finland, the most famous of which was called “Munnimeni on Eetu” (“My name is Eetu”).
18. In 2003, he graduated from De Montfort University in Leicester with a degree in law.
19. Eddie continues to work as a commentator for UK programmes such as ITV’s ‘The Jump’ and has taken part in numerous UK TV shows ranging from Sport Relief to the celebrity diving show ‘Splash’ which he won.
20. Eddie has become know throughout the world for personifying the Olympic spirit and for his determination.
Eddie has shown us all that if you have a dream you should follow it and has inspired people throughout the world to succeed
Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards – we salute you!