Lesson Learned from Eddie The Eagle Movie

Stories to Live By, Never Give Up

At the closing ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, the chief executive officer of the Olympics Committee said to the athletes, “You have captured our hearts and filled our memories.  You have broken world records and you even established personal best.”  Looking over his shoulder at the competitors of 57 countries, he continued “Some of you… have even soared like an eagle.”

At the mention of English ski jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards, 60,000 voices in McMahon stadium roared like one.

28 years later, the Eagle is still soaring and will continue to capture the hearts of the people.  Eddie’s legacy was cemented in the annals of Olympic history for inspiring people of his relentless attitude, and undying spirit to compete.   By the way, Eddie was the goat of the ski jumping events.  Yes, that was not a typo, Eddie did not win any medals at all.

Lesson Learned from Eddie the Eagle


Set Your Goal.

Eddie’s mom asked when he was a boy, “Where are you going young man?”
Eddie replied, “The Olympics.”
Our life must have a goal, a purpose --- the yearning to do and achieve something larger than ourselves.  By setting the goal, we naturally urge to direct our lives, have the desire to get better at something that matters.

Mother’s Love and Moral Support.

The love and moral support of the mother is enduring.  Mothers never fail to let their children know that she is rooting for them. No matter what – win or lose – Eddie is always the champion in his mom’s heart.

How about the whole family and friends, and the community root for you?  The encouragement will take you further when the going gets tough. 

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

Eddie was not strongest or fastest athlete.  He’s goofy and wore thick glasses.  Skiing was the closest winter sport Eddie can be really good at.  Just good but not great.  And skiing is expensive, and his trade as plasterer who makes moldings on ceilings and walls will not able to continue to fund for his sport.  But the will to be in the 1988 Olympics was so intense that he decided to switch to ski jumping for reasons of cost and easier qualification as there were no other British ski jumpers with whom to compete for a place.
The lack of skills or lack of money are notions why people do not pursue their dreams.  Eddie debunked that notion.  Let’s face it 98 per cent of us are Eddie the Eagle.

It’s never too late to learn.

Switching position or job is never easy.  At age 22 he learned the fastest way to ski jump when most of his competitors started when they were 5 or 6 years old.  Ski jumping is no easy feat.  Imagine the height at the start, and the speed going down, then flight to the air, finally the nerve wracking landing. Eddie took ski jumping as his challenge and new job with passion.

Many people change their careers. Many end up pursuing the job that they did not major in college.  Many started late like from STLB previous story about Colonel Sanders made the world famous chicken at age 65.

Never give up.

Eddie was called many name Slow Eddie. Crazy Eddie. Unsteady Eddie. The Flying Plasterer. Mr. Magoo. He was ridiculed and was thought he was a disgrace to ski jumping, and ‘making a mockery’ to the sport. They misunderstood that Eddie has the fighting spirit not to give up despite the mishaps, the false starts, and the awkward landing. He was so determined that he shrugged every negativity thrown at him.  Not even broken bones after a crash landing that sent Eddie to the hospital would stop him.
At one point, Eddie told a reporter, “Optimistically, I get a gold medal. Realistically, I get last place. But it could be worse. I could be dead.”

It’s about the journey, not the destination.

Eddie achieved his goal – the ultimate destination, “The Olympics”.  But the journey made the man --- Eddie the Eagle Edwards.  A man of character. A man with fighting spirit.  A man who inspires the world up to this day.

Relive the journey when the movie opens on February 26, 2016. 

Video copyright by: 20th Century Fox

Image copyright by: Smithsonian.com

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