The “Winner” who still came last.
Although he may not have had any success in his sporting career, quite the opposite in fact, Cheltenham born Michael Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards still proved to be a winner in so many other ways. Eddie, as he was known, had decided to become Britain’s sole representative at the Winter Olympics 1988 in the field of the Ski Jump. The last one had been some 60 years before. There were several things working against him in this regard. First off, there was absolutely no funding available to him from any source other than himself and donations. Secondly Britain’s snowfall is sporadic at best and crucially there are no places to actually ski jump from. Eddie may well have grown up near the Cotswold Hills but as he and the residents of Park Homes Gloucestershire, in particular the one at http://www.parkhomelife.com/our-parks/orchard-park-homes-gloucester-gloucstershire/ will tell you, there is no way you can jump from them.
Eddie had to practice jumping from pallets. He was short sighted and his glasses misted up when he was on the slope. The equipment that he used was borrowed and occasionally far too big for him. This is because he was also under weight compared to the other competitors. Basically everything was against him.
He discovered he could go in 1988 whilst working in a Finnish Mental institution and getting training. He was last in both events but garnered so much sympathy and support as he embodied the Olympic spirit along with the first appearance of the Jamacian Bobsled team.