There are so many movies out today I can’t even find time to blog about them. But I have to say a few words about this one. For Eddie the Eagle, although like many movies, is a semi-fictionalized version of a true story: Michael “Eddie” Edwards is a real person who competed for Great Britain in the real Olympics. Back when the sports imperialists didn’t rule the roost.
Here’s the Wikipedia account of Eddie the Eagle. A brief bio:
Michael Edwards (born 5 December 1963), better known as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, is a British skier who in 1988 became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping. At the time, he was the British ski jumping record holder (a record later broken by others), the world number nine in amateur speed skiing, (106.8 mph (171.9 km/h)) and the stunt jumping world record holder (10 cars/6 buses). Finishing last in the 70m and 90m events, he became famous as an example of an underdog or “heroic failure”, and of perseverance and achievement without funding. In 2016, he was portrayed by Taron Egerton in the biographical film Eddie the Eagle, co-starring Hugh Jackman as fictional coach Bronson Peary.
Well, now it is a movie! Here is info on that from the official Fox site:
Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackman), Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. From producers of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle stars Taron Egerton as Eddie, the loveable underdog with a never say die attitude.
Now the IOC was so furious at the idea they changed the rules to make it harder to compete.
Shortly after the 1988 Olympic Games, the requirements to compete were significantly strengthened. Instead of anyone making the cut so that a country had a representative, the International Olympic Committee instituted the Eddie the Eagle Rule, which stated that all Olympic hopefuls need to place either in the top 50 competitors or in the top 30 percentile in internal competition. The aim, of course, was to keep the Eddie the Eagles of the world out of the Olympics.
This was the precursor to sports imperialism. Today it is virtually impossible for an Eddie the Eagle to represent their nation at the Games.
Now the movie will not make anyone (especially me and I have not yet seen it) forget Chariots of Fire or Miracle but it did earn sixth place at the box office and presently about 7.7 million dollars. So perhaps (at ten bucks a pop) about 750,000 persons went to see it.
I hope each of them will remember how far the Olympics have fallen. Today Eddie would have no chance in basketball, golf, tennis, soccer and now probably boxing. All for ratings and money. Probably by the time of the Games in Rio, I’ll have Eddie the Eagle on DVD and it’ll be added to the movies I can watch instead of pro basketballers and other consequences of sports imperialism. I’ll root instead for non-inperialistic sports such as fencing and nations who have not won a medal or never won a gold medal. And remember: NOT ONE DIME for the IOC or the USOC until they renounce this madness.
Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders