Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

5 life lessons from Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards


Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards has lived an incredibly varied life: he holds a law degree, held the British ski jumping record (73.5 metres), was a stunt jump record holder (jumping the distance of 10 cars), has written a book and recorded a song. In Finnish.

Edwards doesn't speak Finnish.

With a biopic about his incredible career set to come out later this year, here are five life lessons from the effervescent legend to help you live a more varied, confident life.


1. Stay positive

Negativity will drag you down. Be positive at all times. That helped me with my ski jumping: when you're standing at the top of a jump you can see a million different reasons as to why you shouldn't go down. To go further than you've ever been before, you have to risk more than you risked last time around. Any negative attitude, any hint of doubt that you're not going to make it only sets you up for failure.


2. Five Ps

Planning and preparation prevent piss-poor performance. I don't go into challenges recklessly, I know exactly what I'm doing when I set myself up for them. Preparation and training allows you to be fully aware of your own abilities. I've always been content that I'm capable of doing what's asked of me before I sign up to doing it. Train hard. Stay one step ahead - be it for sport or for a law degree. Work toward future targets as well as immediate tasks.


3. Use your nerves

Whenever I've been anxious, be it on a diving board, ski jump or in an exam hall, I've always allowed those nerves to focus my energies. I was always scared enough to help me concentrate - but never too scared to go ahead with the task at hand. Things are never quite as bad as they appear in your own mind; fear distorts.


4. Losing is still a result

Even when I came last in the Olympic ski jump, I looked for the positives. When I landed, I landed on my feet, so that's a result. I survived. I wasn't injured. It's very easy to criticise and be negative, but if you look at the positives you can improve, drive forward to do better.


5. Be up for a challenge

Never be afraid to have a go. It shouldn't matter that you might not be any good at it, and don't be held back by potential embarrassment. "Having a go" might turn into developing a real passion, which in turn could lead to success that you hadn't foreseen. Expertise has to start somewhere. You never know where it might lead you.

If you’ve been inspired by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics then sign up for your own challenge at the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, 21st-23rd March. You can run, swim or cycle different distances and raise money to help transform lives in the UK and around the world by entering at www.sportrelief.com



Mandela: Lessons in Charisma


Lessons from JFK


2014 is the year you become rich and successful


How to be happy


Best Workout Apps


Is Anxiety Destroying You?



Ballon d’Or: Who’s a fraud and who's not

We weigh up the merits of the 30 footballers recently deemed the planet's best

26 Oct 2016

Luis Suarez talks English football and the toughest PL defenders

He's a lover, not a biter

19 Oct 2016

Gary Lineker talks crisps, Rooney and "Sh*t on pitch"

Crisp don Gary Lineker reminisces about the time Diego Maradona nearly fell off a balcony

by Alex Christian
19 Oct 2016

Park Ji-sung now plays for De Montfort University's student side

And can't even prevent them from getting utterly drubbed

by Tristan Cross
14 Oct 2016

Watch San Marino players celebrate first WCQ away goal in 15 years

Ecstasy in Oslo

by Dave Fawbert
12 Oct 2016

The first-ever green card has been awarded in a football match

But how do you get one?

by Dave Fawbert
10 Oct 2016

Football's wonderkids that never made it

The prodigal youngsters that left us boy wondering

by Tristan Cross
05 Oct 2016

Celtic’s 13 year old wonderkid is already better than you'll ever be

Karamoko Dembele made his debut for the U20s last night

04 Oct 2016

The new FIFA president wants to ruin the World Cup

He might have just f*cked up massively

by David Cornish
04 Oct 2016

Sam Allardyce was foolish but he shouldn’t have been sacked

The England mess leaves more questions than answers

by Dave Fawbert
28 Sep 2016