Eddie the Eagle makes ski jumping comeback 16 years after coming last in Winter Olympics
Despite turning 50 this week, the plasterer says he is still in good shape and will take part in the New Year's Day event in Bavaria
To infirmary and beyond: Eddie 'The
Eagle' Edwards in action / Mirrorpix
Daredevil Eddie the Eagle Edwards revealed today he is preparing to risk life and limb again by making a one-off return to ski jumping.
Eddie, who turns 50 tomorrow, retired from the sport 16 years ago, but has been invited to take part in an event on New Year’s Day.
The plasterer who won millions of hearts across the world when he came last at the 1988 Winter Olympics, said he could not turn down the chance to have one final crack at a terrifying leap.
Eddie, whose thick glasses led to him being dubbed the “Mr Magoo of the slopes”, said: “I’m still fit and in pretty good shape. I wanted to do it before it was too late for me physically.”
“This will be my last chance to have a go and see if I can still do it.”
He added: “I’ve always had that ‘have a go’ spirit.
“It’s not reckless because I think about the risk and every conceivable thing that could go wrong.
“I am nervous but also quite excited.”
Captured hearts: At the 1988 Winter
Olympics / Getty Images
The Garmisch-Partenkirchen New Year ski jump in Bavaria is one of the highlights of the winter sports season.
Eddie has continued to ski regularly and he and his wife Sam have introduced their daughters Ottilie, nine, and Honey, six, to the sport.
Eddie proved he still has what it takes, as well
as a head for heights, when he won last year’s
ITV diving show Splash!
He said he is hoping to fly to Bavaria next week to try out the jump for the first time.
He said: “When I stand up there it will be almost like I’ve never been away.”
Edwards was Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper. He came last in the 70m and 90m ski jumps at the 1988 Winter Games but became a household name and the unlikely hero of that Olympiad.
With his milk-bottle specs – which steamed up on the ski-jump – his ginger hair and trademark moustache, Eddie the Eagle captured the imagination.
Affection for this geeky oddball annoyed those in the skiing community who felt he was making a mockery of the sport.
The classic 'British underdog', he even received anonymous hate mail from rivals, upset he had stolen their limelight.
At the height of Eagle-mania, he was earning £10,000 an hour, could stop the traffic in the street and was rarely off TV.
Mirror.co.uk, 4 Dec 2013