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 Gloustershire 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. Edwards first represented Great Britain the 1987 World Championships and ranked 55th in the world, as an Olympic speaker he has notoriously shared the story of where he was when he learnt he has qualified for the next Olympic Games: working as a plasterer and living in a Finnish mental institute because it was cheaper than finding alternative accommodation!
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.
It was Edwards’ determination and arguably his lack of success that made him so popular amongst audiences however and Edwards has continued to feed off of this success in his work as a sports speaker in the years’ that followed. 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.
Eddie Edwards continued to ride the waves of his public popularity for several years, appearing as an Olympic speaker and media personality at a variety of televised events and also appearing in a number of nationwide advertising campaigns. Remembered as the underdog Eddie Edwards has toured the globe as a sports speaker sharing the story of his determination and failure, both a brilliantly comedic and inspirational Olympic speaker there really is no one else like Eddie the Eagle!
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, “Eddie the Eagle” was nominated for numerous awards including the Empire Award for Best British Film.
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.
To book Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards as the Olympic speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency using the contact details below.
When at corporate events, Eddie is known to cover the following topics:
- Ski Jumping
- the Great British Underdog
- Personal Endurance
- Sporting Success
- Sporting Publicity
Watch one of Eddie ‘The Eagles’ famous ski jumps, here:
See what people had to say about Eddie, when he appeared at their corporate events:
“Eddie was fantastic and really contributed to the whole event. All who met him had nothing but praise for him.”
Jo White – Marches School
“Eddie was great and went down really well with everyone – there were loads of laughs and everyone enjoyed his story – photo opportunity afterwards went down really well too!”
Janice Ear – Support Manager, BDGT
“I wanted to say that we loved Eddie, he was an inspirational, funny and down to earth delight who the students easily engaged with. We have wanted to have him at Dean Close for many years, as a local boy, so it was great to finally achieve it. Please pass our grateful thanks to him and we wish him well in his future.”
Balcarras & Dean Close School
“Both the conference and Eddie’s talk went very well thank you, I actually sat in on Eddie’s talk and thoroughly enjoyed it as it was a nice way to round up such a busy day. He was extremely friendly and interesting to talk too and we had a good chat in the Green Room whilst he was waiting to go on. What a lovely man! After delegates spend the day being ‘talked at’, where possible we always like to end our conference by having someone with an inspirational, heart-warming and interesting tale to tell mixed with just the right amount of humour to finish up, and Eddie did just that. He seemed to be a popular choice and some wanted to have their photo taken with him and talk to him afterwards, and he was most happy to stay and chat.”
Christine Cottrell – ESSA
“It went really well thank you, I think everyone really enjoyed it and they were definitely surprised! Thank you for all your help arranging their attendance.”
Natalie Moore – Morgan Kai Group
“The days of filming went really well, we are very pleased with how things went and are looking forward to seeing the end product once the edit has been done.
Eddie was really great to work with, a lovely guy who couldn’t have been more engaged and flexible in working with us to achieve a fantastic result. Our gnarly production team said he was an absolute dream to work with – very high praise indeed!”
David Hughes – Development Director Europe, SafeStart International
“Eddie was an excellent speaker at our event – more than happy to mingle with our guests and do anything that might help us raise a few more pounds for charity on the night. Eddie’s speech was both hilarious and inspiring, which was absolutely key with the occasion being an awards night for previously vulnerable young people. His message resonated with both the award winners and the audience, and we’d gladly have him back any time!”
James Threlfall – Marketing & Events Executive, Inner Flame
‘It was fantastic! Eddie was so lovely and everyone enjoyed his talk. He stayed with us for the rest of the evening so that everybody had an opportunity to spend time with him and ask their questions.”
Christine Davies – Zilico Limited
“Eddie went down well on Friday. Thank you again for coordinating.”
Allan – North Tyneside Council
‘Eddie was brilliant! Everyone loved him and he was swamped with people wanting selfies at the end!’
Callum – Progressive Property
“The event was a huge success yesterday, Eddie was absolutely brilliant! Feedback so far has been hugely positive and Twitter coverage was huge for our area. Please do pass my thanks on to him once again for joining us, delivering an inspirational talk and then talking the time to meet with everyone that wanted pictures and to say “hi” to him once he had finished. An absolute gent!”
Helen – Events Northern Limited
“In short, Eddie was excellent!”
Robbie – Dyson
“Eddie was great on Friday. A brilliant evening and everybody loved him. Dare I say, our most popular guest yet! Thank you for all of your help as ever!” – Active Sussex
“Eddie was an excellent speaker at our product launch event – funny, charming and very personable. It was such a great surprise to our sales team (who had no idea he was coming). Listening to his stories about determination and never giving up in the face of adversity, was truly inspirational.” – Lauren, DW Windsor
“Just wanted to say a big thank you to Eddie for yesterday – he was really great, and we had some fantastic feedback from our guests.” – Rachael, FDA
“A big thank you to Eddie. He was a great addition to our conference and brought a light-hearted element to what was quite a serious event. We had some lovely feedback from our delegates, and they and we really appreciated that Eddie stuck around after his session to join the delegates for lunch and answer plenty of questions/have selfies taken!” – Claire, CORGI Technical Services
“Overall Eddie was brilliant, a lovely guy to talk to before his slot and he was more than happy to chat with the team in the break and take pictures which was such a nice touch. I was particularly impressed that after Andrew and I had briefed him a couple of weeks ago, he used some of the keywords from the conference theme which was great and really linked his story to our message.”
“Just a quick thank you to you and Eddie for a wonderful event, Eddie really made the day and really went the extra mile with all of the photos with everyone at the end. Please give him a huge thanks from us.” – Jordan, EFT Solutions
“Everything went really well on Saturday, Eddie was fantastic and the students loved him!” – Megan, Harper Adams
“We were quite disorganized and only confirmed with Andrew the day of our event. Needless to say, Andrew was a hit at our company’s annual kick-off, especially considering he didn’t have much time to prepare. He was put on the spot when he arrived and had to pretend to be a new hire so that the team would be surprised by his act later in the evening. When he appeared at the front of the room and revealed his true identity, he had everyone laughing. He was professional, friendly, and above all, very funny!”
Alex – Momentum ABM
“I had such great feedback for Eddie. The pupils, parents and staff all thought he was absolutely brilliant. He stayed behind and had photos with guests and signed autographs. Thank you for your help in securing Eddie.
Kamala – Nottingham High School
“Eddie was funny, engaging and inspiring and nothing was too much trouble, he even had selfies taken with a huge queue of people!!” – Microgaming
“Eddie was so so so good, he was such a lovely chap and really experienced in meeting and greeting and public speaking. It was an honour to have him!”
– Stamford College