Successor to Eddie The Eagle

Winter Olympics
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The Independent Online

A Canadian-born 20-year-old is on course to become the first British ski jumper at the Winter Olympics since Eddie ''The Eagle'' Edwards fell to earth with a bump in Calgary in 1988.

Glynn Pedersen hails from Thunder Bay in Ontario, but his Scottish mother and Yorkshireman father mean he could be wearing British colours next year in Salt Lake City.

Before then he must secure British eligibility, a process which involves seeking permission from the Canadian Olympic Association. Several athletes made a similar switch before last year's Sydney Olympics. "My parents and extended family are all from Britain," said Pedersen. "I am very proud of my heritage and, although my introduction to ski-jumping was in Canada, I am delighted to be competing for Great Britain."

Pedersen has the talent and broke the British record by five metres in Germany this summer. He also finished seventh in a Continental Cup event in Calgary in a field that included a former world No 1.

Because he jumped as a junior for Canada, Pedersen was forced to take almost the whole of the last year off as part of the eligibility procedure. But he is now back in full competition and aims to hit the qualification standard by January. "There has been little jumping activity in Britain over the past decade and I am very keen to make my mark on the sport," he added.

Fiona McNeilly, operations director for British Ski and Snowboard, believes Pedersen has the credentials. "The BOA have tough criteria for selection which aims to ensure that athletes are likely to finish in the top 50 per cent of the field," she said. "Providing he makes this standard we would welcome him to the British team."

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