Job search
Job Search

People profile: Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards

Olympic ski jumper Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards became Great Britain’s first Olympic ski jumper since 1929, representing the country at the Calgary Winter Games in 1988. Following the success of the 2016 film Eddie the Eagle, his story is now reaching a new, younger audience and the Olympian has been busy visiting schools and universities, inspiring students with his never-say-die attitude. We talk to Eddie about how sport has transformed his life

Published in Sports Management 2018 issue 2
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
Eddie Edwards does 20 to 30 talks a year to encourage kids into sport
Eddie Edwards does 20 to 30 talks a year to encourage kids into sport

Where did your ambitions come from?
My dream to get the Winter Olympics started when I was eight years old. I loved watching sport on TV, especially the popular sports show Ski Sunday.

When I was 13, I went on a school skiing trip to the Italian Dolomites and luckily enough, just 10 miles away in Gloucester, I had access to one of the biggest dry ski slopes in the country where I could practice and have a few lessons. I did my first ski jump on the school ski trip, which I did as a dare after only skiing for a day and a half. Just 11 years later, my love for the sport took me to the Winter Olympics.

Have you always been determined?
I’ve always loved proving people wrong. Since I was a boy, people were always telling me I couldn’t do things.

In my life as a skier, the more people told me I couldn’t do something, the more it inspired me to prove them wrong and I proved everybody wrong when I went to the Winter Olympics in Calgary.

What have been your enduring memories of the 1988 Games?
A memory that will never leave me is sitting on the bar, high on top of the 120m ski jump and there were 90,000 people in the arena, all chanting ‘Eddie, Eddie’. It was such a special moment for me and even now 30 years later, it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end when I think about it.

How has having a strong mental attitude been a factor in your career?
In ski jumping, you can’t have any doubts whatsoever. When you’re sitting 550ft up, on the bar of a 120m jump, you just want to jump the furthest you can. To achieve that, you will risk more than you’ve ever risked before.

If you get any part of the take-off sequence wrong, the consequences can be horrendous and if there’s any doubt in your mind, that will magnify as you start to head off down the jump.

I’ve always had great self-belief and even now I still get just as excited when I put on a pair of skis as I did when I first started 40 years ago. I just love the sport and I was very lucky to find something that I was so passionate about.

What is your current involvement in the sport?
Although I’m no longer involved in British skiing, I still ski and continue to undertake promotions for various initiatives. I’ve worked with the Chill FactorE, the UK’s longest indoor ski slope in Manchester, to encourage 6- to-18-year-olds into the sport. I’ve also supported Sport England and get involved in 20 to 30 talks a year, visiting schools and universities to talk about the importance of never giving up and of following your sporting ambitions.

I’d like to see skiing become a more accessible sport. It seems very little has changed since I first started, so there needs to be far more investment in grassroots participation and it’s an ideal time to start afresh.

Dry slopes and indoor slopes are great for getting more people involved, but it has to be affordable and more inclusive.

What would you do to ensure more people get involved in skiing at grassroots level?
We hear a lot about the Olympic legacy and I would love to see more people taking up the sport. In the UK, we don’t have a ski jump or ski jump centre but it’s something that I’d like to see in the future, so we can start investing in homegrown talent.

With the right facilities, I believe in 10 years, we would have some world-class ski jumpers and it’s something I’m looking at getting involved in for the future.

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Sports jobs
Everyone Active
featured job

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide, United Kingdom

Deputy General Manager

Link4Life
Salary: Band 5, £25,902 - £30,097 (pro rata if part time)
Location: Rochdale, UK

Team leaders (Wet)

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary, excellent benefits
Location: Southampton, UK

Sales Advisor

Mytime Active
Salary: Up to £16,286.40 per annum
Location: Kent, England

Membership Advisor

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £17,000 (plus OTE Bonus Scheme)
Location: Cardiff, UK

Duty Manager

Trafford Leisure
Salary: £18,500 rising to £20,200
Location: Trafford, UK

Swim Lesson Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rate of pay
Location: Uttoxeter, UK

Gymnastics /Trampolining Brand Development Manager

Trafford Leisure
Salary: Circa £22k - £25k dependant on experience
Location: Trafford, UK

Gym Trainer

The Gym Group
Salary: Fantastic Benefits
Location: Greater Manchester, England, UK

Active Leeds Development Officer - Health

Leeds City Council
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Leeds, UK
recruiting with sports management

Operations Director

énergie fitness
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Commercial Director

énergie fitness
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Milton Keynes, UK

Deputy General Manager

The Climbing Hangar
Salary: £25k - £27k + 20% potential bonus based on achieving KPI's
Location: Parsons Green, London, UK

Dry Side Leisure Assistant

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.75 per hour
Location: Bath, UK

Fitness Motivators x2

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rate of pay
Location: Carshalton, UK

Extreme Sport Supervisor

GLL
Salary: UP to £11,160 per annum based on 20 hours per week
Location: London, UK

Fitness Manager

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Bristol, UK
recruiting with sports management

Commercial Marketing Director

Mytime Active
Salary: Up to £90000 per annum
Location: Kent, England, UK

Swimming Teacher

MXT Swim School
Salary: Immediate Start - Flexible Hours - Competitive Rates
Location: West Sussex, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum
Location: Archway, North London

Sales & Fitness Manager

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Circa £22,000 per annum plus OTE
Location: Kidlington, UK

General Assistant

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £5.60 - £7.83 per hour
Location: Nailsea, UK

Sports Centre Operations Manager

Caterham School
Salary: Competitive, based on qualifications and experience
Location: Caterham, Surrey, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £17,806 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Witney, Oxfordshire, UK
training with sports management

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,187 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £7.50 per hour
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,187 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Appleby-in-Westmorland, UK

Swim Manager / Duty Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rate of pay
Location: Kenilworth, UK

Chief Executive Officer

Westmorland County FA
Salary: £37,000 - £38,500
Location: Kendal, UK

MASTER Aquatic Leads – 3 roles

Everybody Sport and Recreation
Salary: £26,821- £30,152
Location: Cheshire, UK

Fitness Instructor

énergie group
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Location: Cambuslang, Glasgow, UK
lifeguard jobs  Swimming Teacher jobs  apprenticeships jobs  recreation assistant jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  Swimming Instructor jobs  membership consultant jobs  fitness instructor jobs  general manager jobs  General Assistant jobs  duty manager jobs  Customer Advisor jobs  Leisure Assistant jobs  Sports Coordinator jobs  personal trainer jobs 
More jobs

Video Gallery

Myzone
Tracking your workout effort just became effortless.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: Charles Lawrence
Charles Lawrence Surfaces has been at the forefront of the artificial sports surfacing industry since 1975, making it one of the most respected and long established names within the sector.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

SportsArt Eco-Powr line feeds power, harnessed from exercise, back into the grid
SportsArt has developed a new range of environmentally-friendly fitness equipment that could dramatically reduce a facility's carbon footprint, as well as lower operational costs.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Property & Tenders

Location: High Lodge, Thetford Forest
Company: Forestry Commission
Location: White Rocks, Hastings
Company: GVA
More properties & tenders

Diary dates

22-24 Jan 2019
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
28-29 Jan 2019
Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted, Stansted, United Kingdom
29-31 Jan 2019
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
27-28 Feb 2019
Chesford Grange, Kenilworth, United Kingdom
More diary dates