The newly-released “Eddie the Eagle” examines the story of an athlete who just won’t quit. Michael Edwards, nicknamed “Eddie the Eagle,” was a competent downhill skier who switched to jumping due to lack of funds. Nearsighted and heavier than many competitors, Edwards did represent Britain at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary. Though he didn’t win any medals, he became one of most endearing figures to come from that competition.
Taron Egerton, who had an impressive turn in “Kingsman: The Secret Service” last year, plays the title role. The trailers focus on the character’s flops and failures while trying to achieve his dreams. The ever-reliable Hugh Jackman plays Bronson Peary, a coach who helps Eddie on his Olympic journey. Edwards’ story is changed somewhat to fit the movie, but his inspiring courage still comes through.
The 1988 Calgary Olympics also became known for the unprecedented appearance of a bobsled team from Jamaica. The team’s formation and experiences became the basis for the funny sports film “Cool Runnings.” The late John Candy played a coach who sees how speedy Jamaican runners could provide an edge in bobsled competitions.
The Olympics have been a consistent source of inspiration throughout the years. Kerri Strug, a member of the 1996 “Magnificent Seven” gymnastic team, performed a difficult final vault at the Atlanta games. The footage of an injured Strug sticking the landing remains one of the most iconic examples of the Olympic spirit.
Strug’s spirit and perseverance definitely is present in Sadie D’Agostino, a young New Hampshire resident who wants to compete as an Olympic snowboarder. 20th Century Fox has released a short video of D’Agostino, who lives alone with her mom. As the footage shows, Sadie has real ability and talent to go along with her perseverance.
As Sadie herself points out, though, she and her mom don’t have a lot of money; sometimes they rely on the local foodbank for meals. Yet, the inspiring young Sadie doesn’t give up because snowboarding is the biggest passion in her life. Like Michael Edwards, she has the grit to make her Olympic dreams come true even when funds are short.
“Eddie the Eagle” serves as a tribute to Edwards, D’Agostino and the other dreamers out there striving for greatness and making their dreams come true.
“Eddie the Eagle,” rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, partial nudity and smoking, currently is playing in theaters.