Eddie The Eagle, From Flight to Failure
The man who soared to fame as a failed ski jumper in the 1988 Calgary, Alberta Olympic Winter Games says he is bankrupt.
Michael Eddie Edwards entered the Games as the ultimate underdog and he didn’t disappoint anybody. He came in dead last. However, his valiant efforts won the hearts and admiration of the crowd. Before the event was over he would ski away with a host of adoring fans and the nickname Eddie The Eagle.
Now the Mirror reports that he’s broke and that the several hundred thousand dollars he received from the Games was gone along with his house and the hundreds of thousands of dollars he earned from a movie about him. The movie was shown about seven years ago and starred Hugh Jackman and Christian Walker.
“I moved into the garden shed while developing my new house. I’ve lived off egg sandwiches ever since because I don’t have a kitchen,” Eddie told the Mirror.
He said, to begin with, the trust fund he had created from his vast earnings, was so badly managed it lost a lot of money. The remainder, he said, went to his ex-wife, Samantha Morton and to pay off a huge tax bill.
“If you think about it too much, you get depressed so I always think that if I made it twice, I can make it a third time,” the ever-optimistic man said.
Eddie said he actually started out as a downhill ski racer and narrowly missed earning his way onto the 1984 Great Britain team. However, he didn’t let the failure dash his dreams of becoming an Olympic athlete. Believing that the competition was too stiff for him he decided to switch to ski jumping. Since Great Britain hadn’t had a ski jumper in the Olympic Games since 1929 he set a British ski jumping record which he still holds.
The Mirror said to help fuel his dream, Eddie moved to Lake Placid, New York and began training with borrowed equipment. He said his ski boots were so big on him that he wore six pairs of socks.
He also had numerous other disadvantages. Tipping the scales at 180, he was 20 pounds overweight. He was totally self-funded and often times broke. Also, he was far-sighted and had to wear glasses which misted up on the high slopes.
Still, he managed to compete in the 1987 World Games where he came in 55th out of 55th. When he was told he qualified for the Winter Olympics as the lone British ski jumper he was working as a plasterer and living in a mental hospital, but not as a patient. He said he was renting a room there to save money.
If you count winning as the ultimate goal, he was a total failure at the 1988 Games in Calgary. The medal winners had distances of 70 meters and 90 meters compared to Eddie’s 55 meters.
He was jokingly nicknamed Mr. Magoo by his competitors but the fans loved him and gave him the name, Eddie The Eagle, which he still proudly uses today. In addition, he was a guest on the Tonight Show. Later on came the movie that honored his efforts.
We admire him because he showed true Olympic spirit. He just wanted to compete in the Olympics and compete to the best of his ability, his adoring fans said.
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