Sochi 2014: Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards on his sporting life

Eddie 'the Eagle' on Olympic fame

Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping at Calgary in 1988. At the time he was the British ski jumping record holder and the world number nine in amateur speed skiing.

He competed in the 70m and 90m events, finishing last in both, but earned international fame. He talks to Get Inspired about his sporting life.

I was always in hospital as a child. That was because if someone dared me to do anything I would do it, which was great for ski jumping.

I was 13-years-old when I first went skiing. It was a school ski trip organised by games teacher, Mr Miller. Within three months skiing took over my life.

Sochi 2014: Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards lights up Calgary '88

I tried to qualify for the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo as a skier. I didn't have the financial backing. Some of the guys were rich and had rich parents, while I was in my caravanette. It was upsetting but I had to carry on.

I first saw the ski jumps on a day off from training. They looked so cool and I realised Great Britain had never had a jumper before, so I asked if I could have a go.

I started on 10m, then onwards and upwards. I was only charged $5 a day to do my jumping and I tied on a helmet with a piece of string.

The opening ceremony in Calgary was huge. Watching the flame being lit was amazing. I can remember everything like it was yesterday.

The fans christened me Eddie the Eagle. It just snowballed from there - it was great fun. I knew I wasn't going to beat anybody - I knew I would come last.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) changed the rules and prevented me from competing ever again. I wanted the attention and sponsorship - that was just the beginning. Unfortunately, because I became so popular they [the IOC] hated it.

People remember me. They remember the impact I had; they remember the name Eddie the Eagle. I inspired people to get out there and ski.

If you've got a dream go and do it. I made my dream come true.

My mum and dad, my sister and my grandma came to Calgary - they were proud. From Gloucester ski centre to the President of the United States, the whole world stopped. I am immensely proud and I'll always remember it until the day I die.