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Everyone has a ski story embarrassing moments, nearthem are even true. Industry professionals share their best tales
Pain in the rear end
Jonathan T hompson, senior editor, Men's H ealth magazine
Looking back, I should never have attempted the 40m jump, especially after I'd broken my
bottom. But the photographer hadn't got his shot, and we'd flown all the way to the west coast
for this, so I gritted my teeth and went for it again.
We were in Park City, Utah site of the 2002 Winter Olympics and I'd been in ski jump
school for three days. Working up from a one-metre kicker, I'd made it to the 20m monster by
day three. And that was where over-confidence got the better of me. I took on its towering
40m big brother.
It was on my second attempt that I shattered my coccyx. Soaring almost comically high and
dangerously fast (less Eddie the Eagle, more Angry Birds) I landed like a Lycra-clad
cannonball directly on my backside, so hard that I bounced into the air before landing back
on the same spot with a tongue-biting smack. My left ski detached with such velocity that it
shot down to the end of the jump, across a road and into the wall of a cafe.
But that wasn't the bottom line. A few agonising minutes later I found myself with a broken
bone going down an Olympic ski jump again. Unnecessary bravado? Pain-induced
psychosis? Over-exacting photographer? All of the above. But fortunately for me and my
fragmented bum, I managed it. We got the shot and limped off to Salt Lake City airport.
It's hard to decide what was the worst part. Possibly the 11-hour plane journey (I had to be
carried off in the foetal position at the other end). Or the cab ride to hospital from Heathrow
followed by an embarrassing appointment with the doctor.. And the moral? Eddie the Eagle
was one brave blighter.