Michael Edwards, better known as Eddie “The Eagle” was the sole applicant to compete as a ski jumper for Great Britain in the 1988 Olympics.
Eddie the Eagle speaks on the following topics:
Michael Edwards, better known as Eddie “The Eagle” was the sole applicant to compete as a ski jumper for Great Britain in the 1988 Olympics. He was the first competitor to represent GB in Olympic ski jumping, and the British ski jumping record holder despite finishing last in the 70m and 90m events. Eddie has since become famous for personifying the Olympic spirit and for his determination to represent his country without any form of funding.
To improve his chances of qualifying for the Calgary Olympics in 1988, Eddie moved to Lake Placid in the US to train and enter races of a higher standard. However, he quickly found himself short on funds. Eddie began ski jumping under the watchful eye of John Viscome and Chuck Berghorn in Lake Placid, using Chuck’s old equipment. Eddie had to wear six pairs of socks to make the boots fit! He was also handicapped by his weight, at about 82 kg (181 lb), he was more than 9 kg (20 lb) heavier than the next heaviest competitor.
Shortly after the 1988 Olympics, the entry requirements were strengthened in order to make it impossible for anyone to follow his example. In what became known as the ‘Eddie The Eagle Rule’, Olympic hopefuls had to compete in international events and be placed in the top 30 percent or the top 50 competitors, whichever was fewer. Undeterred, Eddie carried on training, however despite making huge advances in performance, he failed to qualify for any further Winter Olympics.
After retiring from ski jumping, Eddie became a fully qualified ski instructor and guide. He went on to become the world number nine in amateur speed skiing, (106.8 mph / 171.9 km/h).
Eddie released a book called ‘On the Piste’ and for several years co-hosted a Sunday morning show with Trish Campbell on BBC Radio Gloucestershire. In 2003, he graduated from De Montfort University in Leicester with a law degree. Eddie continues to work as a commentator for programmes such as ITV’s ‘The Jump’ and has taken part in numerous TV shows ranging from Sport Relief to the celebrity diving show ‘Splash’ which he won. He is Patron of the charity Ski 4 Cancer and returned to ski jumping in 2015 to raise funds for Ski 4 Cancer at the age of 52!. The film of Eddie’s life “Eddie the Eagle” was released in 2016 starring Taron Egerton as Eddie and Hugh Jackman as his trainer.
Eddie speaks to Corporates and educational establishments about his amazing story, his incredible perseverance and motivation to succeed despite all the obstacles he encountered along the way.
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