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How Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards Became An Unlikely Olympic Hero, And What Happened Next

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Mundo Deportivo

The Winter Olympics are here again, and that means the world is being introduced to a new group of young and inspiring athletes.

But some of the most memorable Olympic stories aren't about triumph and gold medals. Take the story of Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards for example.

AllSport

Edwards was a construction worker from Cheltenham, England who failed to qualify for the Olympics as a downhill skier. Instead of giving up on his Olympic dream, Edwards switched to ski jumping.

Ski jumping is a highly competitive sport, but at the time Edwards was the only British athlete competing in it. After placing 55th at the world championships, he automatically qualified to represent Great Britain at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary.

Rex

Edwards wasn't just an unlikely Olympic athlete, he was the very definition of an underdog:

When he learned he had qualified for the Olympics, he was living in a mental institution in Finland - the only place he could afford to stay.

Edwards had to wear six pairs of socks to fit into his borrowed ski boots, and he was 20 pounds heavier than the other ski jumpers.

He also funded his journey to the Olympic games himself, but the biggest difference between Edwards and the other ski jumpers was his eyesight.

CTV News

Edwards was so nearsighted he had to wear his coke-bottle glasses underneath his bright pink ski goggles, and they were constantly fogging up before his jumps.

In spite of all these setbacks, Edwards made it to the Olympics. But his story was about to take another strange turn.

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