History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

Categories: Sport

British ski jumper Michael Edwards has won high-profile sports titles and received a medal for his only career in the Olympics. Despite this, his name is familiar to millions, and in 2016, the film was a film about his life — "Eddie the eagle". What is so famous for this shy boy in thick glasses, not so successful stars of the sky in big-time sports?

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

Michael Edwards (Michael Edwards), whom the world knows as Eddie the eagle, was born in the English town of Cheltenham on 5 December 1963, in a working class family far from the sport. Eddie's father was from a dynasty of plasterers and seriously hoped that his son would become the fourth generation of the Edwards, who devoted himself to the profession.

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

Eddie, who still classmates was given the nickname derived from the surname Edwards, childhood was prone to extreme. The boy's eyesight was very bad, but this did not prevent him to participate in all sporting endeavors peers. In 10 years, playing with friends in football, Eddie had a complex fracture of the leg, which had to be treated for three years. But despite this, at the age of 13, barely parting with a crutch, a young Edwards was fond of mountain skiing.

Showed enviable persistence in training Eddie noticed sports instructors and 17 years of age guy accepted in the British team downhill. Young plasterer has made his choice — he gave up the profession of their ancestors, which had barely begun to learn and fully devoted himself to the sport. I must say that Eddie's parents had not experienced the delight of such a decision, but arguing with him was useless.

Barely showing the first decent results, Eddie came up with the idea to become a participant of the Olympic games in Sarajevo in 1984. He trained all day and showed good results in the selection, but lost a few points. Once behind, Eddie never lost the will to succeed, but on the contrary, it became even harder to work on his technique.

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

In 1986, Eddie leaves the team in the UK, and then home to train in the United States. To do this, he selects the best place in lake Placid, where hone the skill of the best skiers of America. His next goal is the Olympics in calgary, which was quite a bit of time. But training in a foreign land quickly emptied skinny wallet British plasterer in front of Eddie and the looming prospect of an ignominious return home.

In this difficult moment, he suddenly saw the training of divers jumping and realized that he wanted to engage in this kind of skiing. It was a wise decision, because Britain for 60 years, not exposed to the Game jumpers and Eddie had no competitors.

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

Prior to that, the British have never jumped from a springboard, but the 15-meter was given to him simply. The next day Eddie moved to a 40-metre and here he was overtaken by a series of failures. The athlete was falling over and over again and after a few days realized that without a mentor is not enough.

Help Eddie agreed local coach Chuck Berghorn, which helped the athlete for six months to confidently master the 70-metre springboard. Berghorn was an Olympic champion, a hero Hugh Jackman in the biographical film — he just worked in the training center for over 30 years, occasionally participating in Amateur competitions. About your first impression from the meeting with Edwards, Chuck said:

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

For ski jumping, Eddie was a disaster. He weighed 82 kg, which means it was heavier than 9 kg of its most massive Olympic competitor. The athlete was farsighted, which he was forced to jump in glasses with diopters under the ski. Of course, those shamelessly misting and a Brit, we can say, jumping in blind.

In addition, Eddie suffered from a lack of money. Given to him by Berghorn old helmet, he was tied with a rope and ski boots, which were several sizes larger than necessary, had to put on five pairs of socks. Alas, Eddie barely the beginning of something to happen, the money ran out completely and he was forced to return to Europe.

The guy came home in Cheltenham, but, to the chagrin of the family, not senses, and took my mother the car and went to travel around Europe and to hone athletic skills. To earn a living and Eddie had to work as a loader, cut the grass, to cook at the eatery and even change diaper of a bedridden patient But he was sure that it is all in vain and did not intend to retreat.

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

Money was always short, and often not enough for the Essentials. During one of the failed jumps Eddie broke his jaw, but he didn't have the money to pay the doctor. Then, the Brit just tied chin pillowcase and continued training.

In 1986 came the first serious success at competitions in Kandersteg (Switzerland), Eddie put the national British record of 68 metres. Someone will say that it was easy due to the lack of the homeland of athletic competition, but few will be able to repeat what I did this brave man in glasses and two years as a professional in an unfamiliar sport.

A year later, in 1987, Eddie was honored to represent great Britain at the world Championships, where he result of 69.5 meters took the last place. But, nevertheless, it was a record of the UK, as more in this sport one of compatriots Edwards is not performed.

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

This success opened the way Eddie in the Olympic team of the country. The news that his dream came true, found the athlete in Finland, where he trained and lived... in a psychiatric hospital. The house in provincial psychiatric hospital — the only housing that was in the pocket of the poor enthusiast.

In 1988, Eddie came to the Olympics in calgary, where right in the airport became a member of several comic situations and at the same time got its proud nickname "eagle". Met Edwards fans of his sporting talent from Canada, with the banner "Welcome to calgary, Eddie the eagle!". The meeting was recorded by journalists and the new name has stuck to Eddie.

Upon receipt of the Luggage suitcase athlete suddenly revealed and to the conveyor belt crumbled his underwear, socks and t-shirts. The laughter of the public Eddie calmly gathered their belongings and headed for the exit. Here with him played a cruel joke of poor vision. Despite the glasses, Olympian did not notice the glass doors, and at full speed crashed into them face, smashing glasses and raskusi nose bleed.

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

But in calgary Eddie the eagle arrived a crowd-pleaser. He was supported by many reputable reviewers, because they believed that it represents well the forgotten principle of the Olympics, announced by its founder Pierre de Coubertin — "the Main thing is not victory, but participation." At a press conference Eddie said — "Where is it written that the Olympics for the winners?", than broke ovation hall.

Competitions on jumps from the 70-metre springboard was held on 14 February. The first speaker was the favourite of the Olympic games Matti Nykanen, nicknamed the "flying Finn". He jumped at the incredible 118,5 meters, thereby breaking his own world record. But many of the 46 million viewers were more interested in Finn's not smiling red-haired guy in the big horn glasses — Eddie the eagle.

When he appeared on the springboard, people chanted "Eddie! Eddie!" and they say, even the U.S. President Ronald Reagan for a few minutes left and froze at the TV. Two attempts made by the British, did not exceed 55 meters and Eddie took the 58th place, behind the nearest competitor by 16 meters! But this one did not disappoint, and the eagle looked happy and waved to fans of hand.

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

From jumping from the 90-meter springboard Eddie the eagle tried to talk, as this day was a strong side wind. But the stubborn Englishman jumped and set personal and British record by flying 71 meters. The result — 55th place out of 55 possible, but the main goal was achieved — Edwards went to the Olympics and, despite modest results, included in the sporting history of their country.

Eddie was hoping to play the Games in 1992 in Albertville, but new rules of the Olympics has ruled out this possibility. The Games were allowed only athletes included in the 50 top athletes ' results. Do not hit the eagle and in Lillehammer in 1994 and Nagano in 1998.

But these failures did not prevent Eddie the Eagle to become a world celebrity. As the star of the TV show, he earned hundreds of thousands of pounds and finally broke up with poverty. Eddie has starred in commercials and even recorded some songs at home and in Finnish! His English single "Fly Eddie Fly" even entered the top 50 British hit-parades.

History plasterer Eddie the eagle — most interesting Olympian in history

Having achieved success, Eddie had learned in the University, but did not sit in a boring office. He broke up with sports and started coaching young athletes. In 1988 he wrote a book about her career, and in 2015 became a consultant on the set biographical film about himself. In 2010, Eddie the eagle again appeared at the Olympic games — he was entrusted to carry the Olympic torch in Vancouver, Canada.

Keywords: Sports | Olympics | Winter Olympic games | Ski jumping | The athlete | Downhill skiing

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