In England we hate success and love failure, one name that proves the point is Eddy Edwards. Eddie was a plasterer who entered the Winter Olympics in 1988 as a ski jumper, he got through because he happened to be the only person that applied to the relevant authorities in this country.
Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards was (and still is) the only man ever to represent Britain in the suicidal discipline that is Ski Jumping. For a couple of weeks in 1988 the entire nation watched this man hurtle down a hill and somehow manage not to die a horrible mangled and bloody death!
Here was a man who had never even tried Ski Jumping until he arrived in Calgary to take part in the Olympics. He was (of course) absolute crap, but represented two things that it would appear the English hold in higher regard than political or financial success, scientific progress or even world peace; a unhealthy disregard for ones personal safety and spectacular failure!
This was the same year Jamaica entered a bobsleigh team. Last I heard Mr Edwards was training for a career in Law.
Thanks to Jim at Horrorview.com for finding this amazing video.