Eddie the Eagle

Michael Edwards is as unlikely a celebrity as you are likely to find, however as England’s first ever competitor in the ski jump at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, ‘Eddie the Eagle’ captured the hearts and minds of the British public with his perseverance and determination to compete.

A plasterer by trade, in 1986 he decided he wanted to compete at the Olympics 18 months later. However, he had no money, no coach, no equipment and no team as England had never competed in this event before. Undeterred, he did everything he could to make his dream of competing at the Olympics a reality; sleeping in the back of his mother’s cavalier, camping out in a Finnish mental hospital and shovelling snow to afford to practise and prepare for the event. When Eddie arrived in Calgary, he was provided a helmet by the Italian team while the Austrian team provided his skis. In the 70m event he finished 58th out of 58 to standing ovations.

Eddie the Eagle has a unique story full of hard work, grit and laughs. Since ‘retirement’ he has performed at a heavy metal rock concert in front of 70,00 people in Helsinki, dressed in a chicken suit to promote tourism to Devon, judged beauty pageants and has been shot out of a cannon in a circus.

He certainly has a story to tell.

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