Now that the weather has finally turned cold here in Wisconsin, I’ve been able to get out and do some ice fishing. Most of the time that means A LOT of “down time” on the ice, especially when you go by yourself. I’m not big into “jigging” I just drill my 3 holes, set my tip-ups, and wait for a Northern to set the flag in motion.
During the wait, I seem to find myself thinking of the Winter Olympics, among other things, but, for the sake of this blog I’ll concentrate on the Winter Olympics. I don’t know why, but, for some reason I’ve always LOVED the Winter Games, and never really connected with the Summer ones. Maybe it’s because my first memories of the Games were the ones in 1980 at Lake Placid, and U.S. Boycotted the Summer Games that year in Moscow.
In 1988, you had Alberto Tomba, Katarina Witt, Dan Jansen, the Battle of the Brians, Eddie the Eagle, the Jamaican Bobsled team, and still “us” (U.S) against “them” (Soviet Block Countries) how could those two weeks in February not have made an impression?
Now, that I’ve set the table, I can get into the meat of this blog. Michael Edwards a.k.a “Eddie the Eagle” who took the world by storm as a “Heroic Failure” or underdog as the first ever Ski Jumper for Great Britain in the ’88 Calgary Games. The memory of Edwards and the 1988 Olympics hasn’t been on the fore front of my brain (ice fishing or no ice fishing) until I saw the trailer for the “Eddie the Eagle” starring Huge Jackman and Taron Egerton. It gets released February 26th, and I CAN’T WAIT (you know it’s gonna be good).
(This will be the second movie from those games, the first starred John Candy in “Cool Runnings” (1993) about the OTHER unique story line from the 1988 Olympics, the Jamaican Bobsled Team.)
Like the Jamaicans, Eddie didn’t fair well in the games, actually finishing last in both ski jumping events, and it was because of him that a new Olympic qualifying protocol was created. He did win the hearts of viewers world wide, and made such an impression that at the closing ceremony, the president of the Organizing Committee, Frank King, singled out Edwards by saying in his closing speech: “At these Games, some competitors have won gold, some have broken records, and some of you have even soared like an eagle.”
Eddie may not have won any medals, but, what he did was go from an everyday plasterer with a dream, to a worldwide figure just for not giving up. That’s exactly how we should all live our lives…don’t let anyone hold you back from trying to soar like an eagle!… Thank you Eddie.
(photos courtesy of: Getty, Rogers Cinema, Canadian Olympians, Calgary Herald)