Going For Gold Lecture Series
A chance to hear from Olympians on the power of fitness, sport and participation in enabling ambitious goals to be met. With reflection on resilience, perseverance and taking risks.
Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards: THE FIRST SKI-JUMPER SINCE 1928 TO COMPETE AND REPRESENT GREAT BRITAIN IN THE 1988 CALGARY OLYMPICS, PRODCUING HOLLYWOOD FILM EDDIE THE EAGLE
Eddie Edwards, also known as Eddie ‘the Eagle’, is a British skier and Olympic speaker who was the first Briton to compete in the Olympic ski jumping challenge at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary. Born in Gloucestershire Edwards made his first attempt to join the British Olympic’ team in 1984, narrowly missing out on a place in the downhill skiing team.
Refusing to be put off by this first failure Eddie Edwards moved to the US and continued training as a downhill skier, however a lack of funding quickly put an end to Eddie’s training and, realizing that there were no other British contestants for Olympic ski jumping Edwards turned his training to jumping making him the only possible GB candidate for the ’88 Games.
Eddie Edwards quickly caught the attention of the British public, by the end of the Olympic Games in 1988 he was the best ski jumper in the UK, holding the record at 73.5 metres. However, this was the highlight of Edwards’s appearance at Calgary as he was otherwise largely unsuccessful, finishing last in both the 70m and 90m contests.
However, it was Edwards’ determination and arguably his lack of success that made him so popular amongst audiences. Edwards’ lack of success at Calgary inspired the instigation of the Eagle Rule at Olympic qualifications, which states that competitors must achieve a certain level of success in international tournaments before they can qualify to represent their country. Edwards did not qualify for the 1992 Games.
In 2016, the film “Eddie the Eagle” was released, based on Eddie Edwards’ historic career as the first competitor to represent Great Britain in the Olympic ski jumping, played by leading actor Taron Egerton,
Most recently, Edwards has made various media appearances on shows including on The Jump, Splash! and Let’s Dance for Sport Relief. In 2017, Eddie made a grand return to the slopes at the Canada Olympic Park. He revisited memories from the 1988 Games by making his first jumps in over 15 years.
Who is this course for?
Members of the Sport England Programme’s 17 Schools (Open to both staff and students, at present a maximum of 10 places per school)