Eddie the Eagle expected to soar again in Calgary this weekend

British ski jumper Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards is back in Calgary this weekend, and he just might take another crack at the ski jump nearly 30 years after competing at the 1988 Olympic Games.  

Edwards made history as the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping.

He came in dead last. But he left a lasting impression on Calgarians and on sport fans around the world — so much that Hollywood recently made a movie about him.

Edwards, now 53, caught up with the Calgary Eyeopener before his arrival in the city. 


Do you have a memory of Eddie the Eagle? Email eyeopener@cbc.ca

Q: What brings you back to Canada?

A: I was invited back by some people in Kicking Horse, [B.C.] While I've skied around the area quite a bit in Alberta — going to Banff and Jasper and those sorts of places — I'd never got a chance to ski at Kicking Horse so I literally jumped at the chance to come along to Kicking Horse and ski here for a week.

While I was here I was asked if I would come down and ski with the junior nordic combined team in Calgary, so before I fly out on Sunday I'm going to visit the ski jumps again and try to get in a jump or two.

Q: You're in your 50s now — how long has it been since you've jumped?

A: I haven't jumped for a long, long time. Twenty years, I think, '97 was the last time I did any jumping. I do have a little bit of butterflies, a little bit of trepidation but I'm hoping it'll be a smooth transition going from the 20 [metre] to the 30 and then possibly the 60 if I feel up for it, and if I feel fit I'll give it a go, see what happens. But I must get my flight, so if I break something I might be stuck in Calgary for an extra week.

- FROM THE ARCHIVES | Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards wins over fans at 1988 Winter Olympics

Q: Those 1988 Games made you an international star. Do people still recognize you on the street?

A: They do now. They didn't really until the movie came out because I was still relatively busy doing a little bit of speaking. And then the movie came out and it was like Calgary all over again and I'm travelling all over the world, talking about my life and talking about the film and everything else. It sort of brought it all back again. 

Q: What did you think of the film?

A: I loved it. They did a really, really good job. I signed this deal to make this film 18 years ago. It took a long time to come to fruition but I'm glad it did. They did such a job and really captured the heart and spirit and essence of my story. Taron Egerton, who plays me, did such a good job. He looked and acted just like I did 29 year ago.

Q: We asked people to share their memories of you on the show this morning. We received this email from a woman who was a flight attendant with Ward Air during the '88 Games who writes, "I was in awe when Eddie the Eagle came onto the plane to London. They were in business class and they slept most of the way ... so I was completely taken aback when they were deplaning in London and Eddie enthusiastically turned to say thank you and goodbye, and laid a big, wet kiss on my cheek!"

A: Wonderful, wonderful. I did kiss quite a few cheeks 29 years ago, but I'm sure it was lovely.

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