Still Flying High

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Between bespectacled British ski jumper Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican bobsleigh team, the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary created some truly unlikely heroes. Michael Edwards (aka Eddie the Eagle) returned to Canada last March to promote Kicking Horse Powder Tours ski vacations and as a guest of the Altius Nordic Ski Club, who ski jump at Calgary Olympic Park.

Since 1988, the affable Edwards has successfully parlayed his almost accidental fame into stints as a game show participant, TV pitch man and ski guide in the Alps. His fame proved to be durable at Kicking Horse in Golden, B.C., as well; a steady stream of well-wishers lined up for a chat and an obligatory selfie outside the mountain-top Eagle’s Eye restaurant. Later that night, he took the stage.

As part of his Golden trip, Edwards introduced a special screening of Eddie the Eagle, a 2016 Hollywood biopic starring “X-Men” hunk Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken.

Two days later, Edwards returned to Calgary Olympic Park and posed with hundreds of admiring fans, the vast majority of them too young to recall 1988’s antics. He put in a nice plug for a possible Calgary bid for the 2024 Olympic Winter Games and then, rather heroically, the 53-year-old Edwards climbed the 70-metre jump and took off not once, but twice—and stuck the landings, which is hardly a surprise. He is, after all, Eddie the Eagle.

by STEVEN THRENDYL in Winter 2018 issue

Steven Threndyle
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