"They effectively threw me out of the sport"- Eddie The Eagle recalls the struggles he faced on his road to the Olympics

The former Olympian was speaking on Down To Business this weekend

"They effectively threw me out of the sport"- Eddie The Eagle recalls the struggles he faced on his road to the Olympics

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As the Rio games draw closer, former Olympian Eddie The Eagle recalls his journey to the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988 where he became England's first ever ski jumper.

Eddie Edwards began skiing at a young age and entered international races for Great Britain. He was an accomplished downhill skier and even did stunt jumps over vehicles.

He relocated to America to continue racing and shortly after running low on funds, he discovered that his country never had a ski jumper and so he pursued that event.

The British Ski Federation required that he was to record a jump of 70m at a World Cup competition, in order to qualify for the Olympics. He jumped 69.5m at an event in Switzerland and was chosen to be Britain's first ski jumper ahead of Calgary '88.

But his arrival in this department of the sport, was not well received by everyone. Speaking on this week's Down To Business ahead of his appearance at the Small Firms conference in Dublin this week, he said:

"A lot of the papers were calling me a clown and a joke. I just played along with it. It was a good way for me to get a little bit of attention which is what I was hoping for and turn that into sponsorship."

In essence, he felt he was being accused of ruining the image of the sport.

"For me, getting to those Olympics was my dream and I'm very proud to have done it. But people in officialdom - the British Federation, the British Olympic Association and the International Ski Federation - they didn't like the fact that a guy who came 58th, got more attention than the guy who won the event."

Following his run in Calgary, a new rule - which is known in America as the 'Eddie The Eagle' rule - was introduced to prevent cases like Eddie's from reoccurring. And Eddie says, the rule 'effectively threw me out of the sport.'

The new rule required an athlete to be ranked in the top 50 in the world in their sport or be placed in the top 30% at a competition.