Legendary ski-jumper Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards

Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards was the first competitor to represent Great Britain in the Olympics ski jumping, appearing in the Calgary Olympic Games in 1988 and jumping 59 meters, finishing last. He had by then became a cult hero and his jump was accompanied by a crowd of 100.000 people cheering his name.

However, the ski jumping establishment was not humoured and felt that Edwards was making a comedy show out of their sport. Rules were changed and demands higher, and in 1990 came what was refererred to as the ‘Eddie Edwards rule’, which requires Olympic hopefuls to compete in international events and place in the top 30 percent or the top 50 competitors, whichever is fewer. This meant instant trouble for the ever hopeful Eddie, and he failed to qualify for the next three Winter Olympics before he finally gave up ski jumping.

A failed ski jumper, “The Eagle” (who was known for jumping with foggy glasses) was a bigger commercial success. His public failure in sports made him a hero and he could demand £10.000 a hour for advertising and promotion work. He also had a minor career in television and published a book.

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