Saturday, December 29, 2007
OPC Presents: Where Are They Now
Eddie Edwards was the best ski jumper in England in the mid-1980s, although that's not much of a claim since England doesn't really have any mountains; he was the 55th-ranked ski jumper in the world.
Still, that was enough to get him into the 1988 Winter Olympics at Calgary. He finished last in both the 70 meter and 90 meter jumps, but became a folk hero just for his efforts, and earned the nickname "Eddie the Eagle." At the closing ceremonies, the IOC president said "At this Games some competitors have won gold, some have broken records and one has even flown like an eagle." According to Wikipedia, that was the first time an individual competitor had ever been referenced at the closing ceremonies.
After the Calgary games, the IOC passed a rule tightening the requirements for people to enter events. It would no longer do to simply be the best in your country at an event. There would be no more Eddie the Eagles.
* * * *
I have been skiing the past few days in Winter Park, Colorado, and when I dropped my son off at snowboarding lessons this morning I noticed an instructor whose name tag read "Eddy Edwards, London, England." I said to him, "Are you the same person as the ski jumper Eddy Edwards?"
"I sure am," he said.
So there you have it. Where is Eddy Edwards now? He's a ski instructor in Winter Park, Colorado.