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Eddie The Eagle - ‘I was Clooney of skiing world’

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards gives a press conference during the 1988 Winter Olympics. Picture: Getty

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards gives a press conference during the 1988 Winter Olympics. Picture: Getty

  • by ALLAN HALL
 

EDDIE “The Eagle” Edwards might be for the high jump with his wife after he admitted that women used to queue up outside his bedroom to have sex with him during his not-so-stellar ski-jumping career.

Edwards, who was 50 last week, was speaking ahead of his plans to jump again on New Year’s Day in Germany – 25 years after finishing last at the 1988 ­Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, and gaining a global following for symbolising the plucky underdog.

The married father of two is planning to jump at Bavaria’s Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany, a World Cup “large hill” event.

He told Germany’s Bild newspaper: “I was like the George Clooney of the ski business. Other athletes were always so stressed and wound up, but I was always relaxed and cheerful, and that meant I had the female fans standing in line to be with me.

“Why not? I was single at the time and did not live the life of a monk.

“I could have had a lot more groupies in my hotel room than I did but, to be honest, I was not up to it. I couldn’t manage that many.

“What was on offer was more than my ability to satisfy.”

He said he knows he was the laughing stock of many but added: “I don’t care. I was the best ski jumper in the United Kingdom.

“It was also clear that I’m was not going to break any records. I was ten pounds heavier than everyone else.

“The athletes then were emaciated to the bone.”

On the prospect of flying again, he said: “Why not? I am fitter than I was then, but the regulations are stricter, the risks of injuries greater.

“Twice I broke my collarbone and had a skull fracture. But otherwise nothing happened. At the end, I could jump 120 yards.”

He now lives with wife Sam and two young daughters in Cheltenham, and travels a lot and lectures about his life on the theme: ‘My Life as Britain’s First and Last Olympic Ski Jumper’.

But he said that he does not want his children following him on to the ski jump, adding: “I taught them skiing – that’s enough.”

Edwards has lived a colourful life since Calgary. He studied for a law degree, and has also worked as a motivational speaker, won a celebrity diving competition on British television and was a torch-bearer at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Now he is hoping to roll back the years, having had eye surgery, and he no longer needs his trademark thick glasses – which could also be a disadvantage.

“It is giving me the opportunity to go off a 410ft ski jump for the first time in almost 18 years,” he said.

“Because I have had eye surgery, I can see where I am going now, so that might cause problems because I might not want to go down the jump.”

 

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