Sunday, March 12, 2017

Eddie The Eagle revisits Calgary

Pincher Creek's Kullen Molaro and Britain's Eddie the Eagle
Kim Jorgenson - I got to meet and see Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards at the 1988 Olympics and he has always had a special place in my heart. He is one of the nicest, most grateful, genuine people on the planet. When the movie came out about him I couldn’t wait to enjoy it with my son Kullen. Then to find out that he was coming to Calgary again, it was just an opportunity for us to share that I couldn’t pass up.

Kullen Molaro / Kim Jorgenson video/photos
On Sunday March 4, Eddie returned to Canada Olympic Park's WinSport facility in Calgary to make his first jumps in over 15 years, at the age of 53. About a 1000 people showed up to welcome him back.

The people that came to see him were there because he is just a nice guy. It was a very personal experience and he took the time to high five every kid and parent. He did his jumps in between kids doing their normal team jump practices and encouraged everyone to cheer them on with him. He was overwhelmed at the love and support of the people that came out to see him. When the few of us there started chanting “Eddie, Eddie”, he grinned from ear to ear and said that is what helped him keep pushing at his dream.

 I had the chance to give him a hug and tell him I had seen him in 1988, which is the same story as most of the parents there told him, and he had tears in his eyes, that people cared that much to come see him now. He said he’s been trying for 18 years to get his movie made and was frustrated along the way that it took so long. But he now realizes that it was the best thing because its allowed him to meet and inspire a whole new generation of children that he never would have met. My son is included in that group and now wants to “jump” like Eddie and “can I please join the team, mom”. 

Eddie started out on the smallest jump and each time moved a little higher. He jumped six times when we were there and smiled and waved and landed each one, sometimes to his surprise. He joked and laughed each time he made it to the bottom. He said the equipment has changed a lot in the last 19 years and it took a few jumps to get used to it, but he said once you start down you’re committed,  and the only thing you can do is go with it.

Not a lot of people came out to see him on Sunday but for those of us who did, it was a truly heartwarming family experience.

Kim Jorgenson and Eddie the Eagle

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