5. 1988: Eddie the Eagle flies
In the mid-1980s, Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards decided to shift away from downhill skiing (he narrowly missed a spot on the British ski team for the ’84 Games) and over to ski jumping, due to lack of competition from his countrymen in the event. Despite a lack of success, to say the least, Edwards was invited to compete in the 1988 Games due to his being the only Brit who had competed in ski jumping events. Eddie the Eagle was a heroic failure at the Games, finishing dead last in both of his events, garnering sarcastic cheers and endearment from English and American viewers. Edwards, in a way, has never stopped cashing in on his bizarre celebrity status in the UK, having been featured in various ads and programs ever since. As for the sport of ski jumping, rules were tightened up to prevent competitors like Eddie the Eagle from qualifying for future Olympics.
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