Things I learnt from Eddie the Eagle


A few nights ago, I sat down to watch a ‘feel good’ movie with Leigha.  It was a present that Leigha had got for Christmas and after another crazy food shop before the new years eve antics.  It seemed like the perfect thing to do to round off the day.


Nothing could have prepared me for how I would feel about the film – Eddie the Eagle the Movie.


For those of you too young to remember who Eddie the Eagle actually is; he was born Michael Edwards, in Cheltenham, England in 1963 and nickname Eddie by his friends.  Edward’s always dreamed of being an Olympian, trying out a range of sports as a child; he finally found this craft in skiing…


…but when he failed to qualify as a downhill skier for the 1984 winter Olympics team, he found another route to his Olympic glory in the form of ski jumping; something no UK skier had done since 1928!


The wonderful thing about Eddie’s story is not just his grit and determination but the fact that so much was stacked against him.  As a child he had braces on his legs right up until adolescence. He had no coach or money to support himself to become the Olympian he aspired to be.  Where most ski jumpers would have been training from the age of 4.  Eddie picked up the sport at 22 and trained for about 18 months prior to his Olympic debut.


Things I learnt from Eddie the Eagle.

Keep Your Dreams Close.

One of the main things that struck me about Eddie’s story was that he never gave up on his dream.  He had that goal and vision in his mind from such a young age.  He knew he would be an Olympian and he never wavered from that premise even when everyone around him was telling him otherwise.

Find an Alternative Route

Every time Eddie got knocked down he found another way.  When he didn’t make the cut as a down hill skier he found another sport in the ski jump.  When he had no money to support himself, he slept in a Finnish Mental hospital for £1 a night so he had somewhere to stay whilst he trained.  He always found a way.

Stay positive

It’s easy to see that Eddie is such a positive person.  Coming last in the Olympics brought him such happiness, you can see how grateful he was for the opportunity to fulfil his lifelong dream.  Having a positive mental attitude is one thing, but living your life that way – day in day out, is another.  Especially when the odds are firmly stacked against you.

It’s not about the winning

Eddie broke the rules around what winning really means.   It isn’t always about receiving the Gold medal.  It’s about being proud of how far you’ve come and about celebrating your achievements, however big or small.

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.  The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

Pierre de Coubertin

Keep moving forward

Sometimes we may know where we want to go, but have no idea of how we are going to get there.  When we feel this way; it’s important to keep moving forward.  It is all too easy to take no action because you are unsure of what you are supposed to be doing.


There is a moment in the film where Hugh Jackman’s character tries to convince Eddie to not enter the Olympics for fear of being ridiculed and being made a laughing stock.  There was part of me that understood both Eddie and Hugh.


Hugh played Eddie’s coach – a former Olympian who had his own failed dreams who believed that given another 4 years of training, Eddie may be able to become a ‘better’ athlete for the next Winter Olympics.  But Eddie chooses to soldier on in pursuit of his dreams, knowing deep down that his time was now.


For me, this is about really knowing yourself and following your intuition.  Eddie knew that entering the Olympics at that very moment in time was right for him.  He was building momentum, he knew he was never going to win, but that wasn’t his goal.  His goal was to be an Olympian.  I also don’t think his story would have had the same impact on the world as it did had he trained for another 4 years.  Whilst we all think Olympians are inspirations, we tend not to remember all the Olympians that sit between Olympic underdog and Olympic champions.


A few months after Eddie competed at the games – the Olympic committee changed the rules so that Instead of anyone being able to make the cut to represent their country, hopefuls would need to place either in the top 50 competitors or in the top 30 percentile in international competition.


The aim of course, was to keep the ‘Eddie the Eagles’ of the world out of future Olympic games and given that the Jamaican bobsleigh team had also qualified in a similar circumstances as Eddie for the 1988 Olympics the rule might have been brought in anyway!

Today the rule is called the Eddie the Eagle Rule!


But what this means more than ever, is that Eddie’s intuition in that moment; was one of the best decisions he could have ever have made.


So as Eddie believed…


…If YOU want YOUR moment you’ve got to do it for REAL!


Have you seen the movie?  What was your favourite part?  Are you applying the same drive and determination in building your business and blog? Please comment below and share with your friends and followers if you’ve enjoyed this post.


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