Recently, I watched a very delightful documentary named “Eddie The Eagle.” A story about an average boy and his dream of being an olympian – Michael Edwards. The story starts with Michael as a 10-year old whose kamikaze-style moves as a soccer goalie leaves him with damaged cartilage in his left knee. This lead to him having a plaster casts for the next three years along with a life-long injury risk. But, even that didn’t stop Edwards from chasing his dreams!
Born on December 5, 1963 in Cheltenham, England, a small town located 90 miles from London as the middle child to working class parents, Edwards began his skiing journey in early teenage years and struggled with the expenses involved. And yet, despite all the obstacles in his path, he went on to become the first British ski jumper to compete at the Winter Olympic Games in Calgary in 1988. He came in last in the 70 m and 90 m events. But, he kept at it and went to break British ski jumping records, held the ninth position in amateur speed skiing with a speed of 106.8 km/h and even attempted and broke the record of jumping over 6 buses!
Not only did he struggle financially but also was overweight by 9 kg heavier than the next heaviest competitor. Furthermore, due to his financial limitations, he could never take professional training; to make matters worse, he was farsighted and had to wear thick glasses under his ski-goggles. These goggles used to mist up at the altitude during ski jumping. His story is a victory of persistence and resilience over every possible challenge.
No Stage Is Too Small, No Opportunity Too Small
This is something which I have seen and read in so many blogs of all the famous sports man or olympian. Eddie took all the small and different competitions or stage very seriously. He never thought that this game or Tham game is less important. He practiced at same level, he focused on each and every game like this is his last game. He put in all his efforts and gave his best in all his games.
Persistence Is The Key
Do what you love and love what you do. Pursuing your dreams is the only high worth chasing! Never let it go. Despite all possible challenges, physically and financially Eddie never stopped chasing his dream of becoming an Olympian. While trying his first jump, he fell and injured himself. But he kept trying till he jumped and landed on this feet. Bravo! this was just the beginning he never turned back.
Celebrate Each Victory
Eddie celebrated even the smallest of his victories. Whether it was getting ready for a jump, landing safely, or a jump that was better than the previous one, getting to perform on different stages, or getting selected for the Olympics! He never missed a chance to celebrate and cherished each achievement equally. Celebrating even the smallest victories does in no way mean that Eddie was content with just small achievements. But rather, they gave Eddie got extra energy and boost to do more.
Humility Is The Way Of Champions
After years of setbacks and challenges, competing with numerous worthy players, Michael Edwards, in 1988, was named as “The Eagle.” Eddie, however, in one of his interviews said That he is not even close to being “Eddie the Ostrich.” Despite accolades raining on him and a huge fan base, Eddie was humble and down to earth. Its speaks about his humility.
A heartwarming success story, this documentary left me feeling inspired and delighted at the same time!