Eddie the Eagle lands in Calgary to show his support for the Calgary 2026 bid

 
Photographer
Doc Pow

Eddie the Eagle lands in Calgary to show his support for the Calgary 2026 bid

By Joanne Elves

Calgary, AB Nov. 4, 2018 – When Eddie the Eagle (Michael Edwards) finished last in both his ski jumping events in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, he landed first in the hearts of Calgarians and the world. Did he care that he was last? No. Did Calgary care? No. Does anyone remember who won the event? Sad for them, no. Eddie the Eagle’s passion for reaching his own personal goal was a highlight of the Olympics.

Unfortunately, the attention that Edwards brought to the ski jumping establishment wasn’t appreciated. The “any news is good news” didn’t suit them so the “Eddie the Eagle Rule” was quickly enforced. Since Edwards flew into our hearts, all Olympic hopefuls in ski jumping have to be placed in the top 30% or the top 50 competitors, whichever is fewer. With the stiffer rules, like many passionate about the sport, he didn’t qualify on any of his other attempts.

For the past 30 years, Edwards has considered Calgary a home-away-from-home because Calgarians have embraced him as one of their own. Today, he is back to support the Yes vote for the 2026 Olympics.

Photographer
Doc Pow

Eddie the Eagle (Michael Edwards) speaks to the media at the Calgary International Airport on Nov. 4.

 

SnowSeekers caught up with Eddie the Eagle at the airport and found out his opinion about the Olympics and why he thinks a Yes vote is the one to make.

SS: What’s it like to come back to Calgary?

EE: I was here in July for the Calgary Stampede and have been back many times to visit or just in passing. I love it here, it’s like a second home. Its where Eddie the Eagle was born, or should I say hatched?”

SS: What do you think hosting the Olympics means to a city?

EE: Excitement, enthusiasm, camaraderie, love of sports, all sorts of things. The Calgary ‘88 Olympics of course were my favourite, because I worked very hard to get to participate in them, but every city that hosts the games experiences the same excitement and emotion. Other Olympics that I have been at, I’ve worked as media, so I didn’t get the carnival atmosphere like I experienced in Calgary as an athlete.

Calgary was just amazing, the people, the spirit, it was like the Stampede with snow.

SS: Do you think the magic is still there because it is a lot harder for athletes to qualify?

EE: Yes, the magic and thrill of getting there is still there, but I don’t think there will be characters such as myself anymore. That doesn’t make the Olympics any less special, the athletes have all dreamed every day of their lives to be there and worked hard.

Photographer
Joanne Elves

Eddie the Eagle (Michael Edwards) gives a cowboy holler while encouraging Calgarians to Vote Yes on Nov. 13

 

SS: In 2016, Eddie the Eagle movie, starring Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman was created based on your underdog story. Do you think they captured the true story?

EE: It was a brilliant movie that did capture the essence and the spirit, but there was a lot more hardship that they didn’t capture.

SS: The ‘88 legacy has been talked about a lot. Do you think they (Calgary) can build off that?

EE: I think so, yes. This city has been going strong for 30 years with a positive legacy and they can do it again, maybe bigger and better and go on for another 30 or 40 years.

SS: If you could be a winter Olympian today, what would you be?

EE: Oh, that’s tough because I love my jumping – but I love the speed of the Super G and I was actually a great downhill racer before I took up the ski jumping, so maybe you’d see me as “Eddie the Exocet” missile coming down the slope.

SS: Message for Calgarians?

EE: Tick the box that says YES and have another winter Olympics.

SS: Will you come back for the 2026 Olympics?

EE: OF COURSE!

Community
Calgary
Province
Alberta