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Peter Riedel Sports Technology

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The worst jumper of all times?

on 2006-04-08

Portrait of one of the best-known to the general public, if also not the best ski jumpers, Michael „Eddie The Eagle" Edwards

When the 23-year-old Michael Edwards from Cheltenham began for the first time as an English participant at the four hills tournament in Oberstdorf on December 30th, 1986, he gazed admiration as ski jumping exotic. The Norwegian Vegaard Opas won with a best jump of 94 metre at that time and of the all in all 112 participants Edwards got last with 65 m. He made his first ski jumping experiences in 1985, as he lived and worked at Lake Placid for a short time. He tried his first jumps there and he jumped in summer 1986 for the first time on the plastic covered hills in the Swiss Kandersteg.

At the World Championships in February 1987 Matti Nykänen mastered the competition clearly, Eddie jumped with 73 m of a new British record, deleted the 56 years old record of Guy Nixon with that and despite his last place was nominated for the Olympic Games 1988 by the British ski association, he never got financial support of, though. The Englishman who is shortsighted and jumping with strong seeing glasses became only last one of the field also in Calgary with 55 metres. With this image he became "Eddie The Eagle" and more drew the attention with on itself than on the sporting winners.

With the courage of a beginner his tense, stiff jumps were extremely partly dangerous and he brought down in Innsbruck and broke his collarbone in 1989. He played the role of the entertaining eccentric perfectly, whom the media and the fans saw in it, and it also paid off for him. He took part at speed Skiing and made risky ski jumping stunts over busses. His person was in demand in TV shows, in commercials and his banal music songs sold well. He shall alone have earned £ 400,000 by TV appearances in 1988. But the learnt road worker could not handle the lots of money, it frittered away and 1992 he was finally bankrupt.

He sportingly was pushed by the FIS by the established qualification system. After eleven world cup and six European cup appearances he jumped in St. Aegyd (Austria) the last time in 1992. The winner reached 72 metres, Eddie jumped 46 metres and got last like so often. Later, he still brought out a book of his own named "On The piste" and 2002 sold the TV rights of his own story to an American production company.

His appearance is controversial to this day: The one respect his sporting courage and describe it as a rebirth of the English ski jumping, others considered it an alone sub-holder. However, one is uncontentious: It is the first and only Englishman who has taken part at Olympic Winter Games in ski jumping.

Source: Partial statement from "The History of ski Jumping" of Tim Ashburner

Ski Jumps:

CAN Calgary (Canada Olympic Park)



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3)   Krake   wrote on 2023-01-04 at 00:15:


Eddie the Eagle war weitsichtig! Nicht kurzsichtig. Mittlerweile hat er gelaserte Augen und braucht die Brille nicht mehr

2)   Pedestrian   wrote on 2017-06-10 at 23:30:

He isn't the only british olympic ski jumper

Percy Legard did the ski jump in 1929. Another man also competed in that year.

1)   ursula regina zils   wrote on 2016-04-04 at 19:00:

buch on the piste und posterplakat von mr michael edwards

sehr geehrte damen und herren, dieser film von edi the eagle ist einfach wunderschön, berührend und motivierend zugleich
ich bin begeistert von dieser gechichte und bitte sie mir meinen wunsch zu erfüllen ob ich das poster und das buch e käuflich erwerben kann. mein sohn hat als statist in diesem film mitspielen dürfen und wir alle sind über diese filmgechichte und diesen mut von mr michael edwards tief beeindruckt. danke für ihre nachricht und verb leiben mit freundlichen grüßen ursula regina zils

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