Olympics Movie Marathon: Eddie the Eagle
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.
I hadn't heard of Michael ("Eddie the Eagle") Edwards before, but am glad to know his story. He competed once at the 1988 Calgary Olympics as the first British Olympian to compete in ski jumping since 1929. The movie dramatizes the story of his journey to compete in the Games, from failing to make the downhill skiing team to setting new British records and personal bests at the Calgary Games. As I was watching the movie, I made a few notes about things I noticed:
- The coffee stain in the shape of the Olympic rings
- Eddie's quote, "I'm not going to the Olympics...I'm going to the Winter Olympics!"
- References to Cool Runnings and the Jamaican bobsled team
- The terrible/wonderful 80s music soundtrack
- Eddie's quote to the Olympics Committee, "I thought the Olympics was for amateurs."
- Eddie's training with his coach reminded me of this from Scrubs:
While we were watching the movie, we wanted to know how much of the movie was real- to the internet! As it turns out, some major details are fictionalized in this film for the sake of movie-making. Eddie did not train in Europe but rather at Lake Placid in New York. The whole character of Eddie's coach is fictionalized to underline the underdog theme of the movie. Eddie wasn't quite as bad as the movie makes him out to be, either.
Overall, the point gets across- perseverance. The Olympic dream is not unattainable, even for those of us who may not seem "cut out" to be an elite athlete. There was backlash from some people when Eddie competed because they did not feel he belonged in the Games, but I don't know if I agree. From the film and even more so from Eddie's real story, I see a history of working extremely hard to achieve something great. I believe he was (and is!) a true Olympian.
Tune in next week for the final segment of our Olympics movie marathon and get ready for Opening Ceremonies!