He was a scene-stealer at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Britain's first Olympic ski jumper, Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards, finished last. But the crowd loved his joy in participating .
After Calgary, Mr. Edwards, a plasterer by trade, was besieged with promotional offers. But by 1991 he had declared bankruptcy.
Edwards dreamed of returning to the Olympics as a serious competitor. (After Calgary, "the Eddie rule" required jumpers to meet minimum standards in order to compete.) Edwards trained on and off, but never made the grade. He lost his sponsor after failing to qualify for the '98 Nagano Games.
Today, Edwards does radio work for the BBC and is a popular ski instructor. He's also an after-dinner speaker and does PR stunts. In the last 10 years he has parachuted onto golf courses, walked on airplane wings, and leaped off shopping-center roofs.
"I'm amazed people still remember me, 13 years after those Olympics," he said in a phone interview. "It just shows the importance of the message the Eagle represented."
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