Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards has been busy in Austria helping former TOWIE star Amy Childs, 80s pop star Sinitta, Olympic gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave and more famous faces learn how to ski jump for Channel 4’s latest celebrity contest, The Jump.
What’s the secret of a good ski jump? Once your knees stop knocking, Eddie has some top tips…
Prepare for take-off
Everything happens at take-off, so you have to be well-balanced. The worst thing you can do is to be off-balance, so don’t sit back on take-off. If that happens, your skis will push you further back and you’ll end up landing on your back.
Hold your nerve
The speed at which you go down the jump is frightening, but you’ve got to keep calm, because there’s no turning back. You’ll be 100ft up, and when you let go of the bar your skis go into a set of tracks so you can’t stop or slow down – you just go faster and faster. You could reach speeds of 40mph, so you’ve got to overcome the fear of going faster than you really want to go.
As you go down the jump you should crouch to make yourself go as fast as possible. Then, at the point of take-off, extend your legs by jumping up as hard as you can. Jump slightly forward and stay standing upright and balanced in the air, arms by your side.
Then land on both feet with your legs about as wide as your hips. Remember, the length of your jump is measured from where your feet land, not the front or back of your skis.
Prepare for pain
I’ve been in Austria coaching the contestants on The Jump and they are all nursing plenty of bumps and bruises. Darren Gough had a couple of early falls, but that was more down to loose bindings on his boots. You need to wear adequate protection – the contestants have a helmet, gloves and a foam ski-jumping suit, which does absorb some of the impact. In other words, not much!
If at first you don’t succeed
I haven’t jumped for 17 years, but I’m going back out to Austria and I fancy taking on the 125m jump out there.
I’m lighter now than when I went to the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, so I’m actually in better shape. It’s possible that I could jump further than I did 26 years ago.
If I jump well in Austria I might start looking for a sponsor and start training for the next Olympics in 2018.