Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards has vowed to teach diver Tom Daley how to ski-jump, but diving fans can relax as he says he will wait until after the Olympic diver goes for gold at Rio 2016.
A quarter of a century ago Eddie shot to fame at the winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, when he finished last in the 70m and 90m ski jump events.
But on Saturday night he was able to celebrate after sweeping to victory at the age of 49 by winning ITV’s celebrity diving competition Splash! under the guidance of Tom.
Eddie said Tom would be ‘very good’ at ski-jumping, adding: “During the show he mentioned that I should take him for a ski-jump lesson – so he’s taught me to dive, I’ll try to teach him to ski-jump. I don’t think we’ll do it before Rio because I wouldn’t want to break his legs or anything like that.”
Eddie impressed the judges and the voting public with his two dives and knocked Benidorm actor Jake Canuso into second place and Linda Barker, of the BBC’s Changing Rooms, into third place.
The sporting star said it was ‘fantastic’ to win and said he celebrated by ‘having a cup of tea, half a cider, a cheese sandwich and a plate of chips’.
When asked if he had chosen to pursue the wrong sport as a young man, the ski jumper said he perhaps should have opted for diving as a career instead of taking to the slopes.
“To a certain degree, yes I do. Having said that they didn’t have the facilities back then when I was a young boy that they have now – the trampolines, the springboards into the foam pits,” he said. But then again ski jumping has helped me with the psychological side of diving, getting over the fear and then going for it.”
The show, presented by Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay, has received criticism from critics and viewers alike, but Edwards said the negative comments did not annoy him.
He added: “I think it’s very easy to criticise any show. I think it was great fun, not just because I was doing the show, but it’s great family entertainment. I think most people can relate to any of the divers, whether they were doing a plain dive off the three metre, or a two and a half off the 10.”