Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 16:30

Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, one of Britain’s most famous Olympians, tested his daredevil mettle with a six storey-high freefall onto a giant airbag at the Eden Project in Cornwall this morning (Thursday).

Ski jump hero Eddie was strapped into a harness and winched up to nearly 20m high, before being dropped, back-first, on to an enormous inflated air bag. This custom-made cushioned landing is similar to those used by ski jumpers in training.

The experience, known as Freefall, is officially opening today and is one of a number of activities operated by Hangloose Adventure at the Eden Project.

Eddie said: “It is scary because you're going down backwards and you can't see a thing. You don't know when the impact is going to happen but you know it's going to happen. It's scarier than ski jumping because you're going backwards - at least when I'm ski jumping I'm going forwards! It's good fun, I enjoyed it. It's a fantastic ride and well worth doing.”

Eddie also opened another new Hangloose ride, a stand-up 360 degree swing that flips riders upside down, known as Vertigo 360.

Freefall and Vertigo 360 are the two newest attractions at Hangloose Adventure’s complex at the Eden Project.

Hangloose at Eden also operate the SkyWire, England’s longest and fastest zipwire, Gravity, a giant swing, and The Drop, a freefall simulator off a purpose-built tower. They also offer a ground-breaking virtual reality experience for people who want to feel the rush of the rides without strapping on a harness.

Eddie found fame at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary where he captured the world’s imagination as he competed in the ski jump, one of the most extreme disciplines in Olympic sport.

Last year (2016), the film Eddie the Eagle was released about his remarkable and inspirational story, starring Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken, and directed by Dexter Fletcher.