Over the years I have heard the name ‘Eddie the Eagle’ and knew he had something to do with the Winter Olympics but that was it. The film (called ‘Eddie the Eagle’ which was released in 2016 and stars Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman) is based on Eddie’s (real name Michael) life and looks at what happens in one of the most famous sports stories ever. It took me four years to get round to watching it, and I’m so glad I eventually did because it had a big impact on me, and I took away from it much more than I anticipated.
From what the film portrayed, Eddie was fascinated by the Olympics as a child and always wanted to compete in it. He eventually found a sport he could participate in, ski jumping, and did all he could to compete at the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988. He finished last in both the 70m and 90m jump, but it was his love for the sport and competing in it which made him a national treasure.
I think a lot can be said from someone like Eddie. Sport is usually all about winning and that’s it. Yes the taking part is often talked about, but almost always all people care about is finishing first. Eddie changed that thinking in this instance, and what I learnt from watching the film is that sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re the best at something; if you enjoy it then that’s what really matters. You don’t have to be the best, but just being in something, like a competition, can be better than anything else. Being part of something is what really matters, not the outcome.
In the film, people largely laughed at Eddie and after he finished last in his first event, the 70m jump, he decided to go for the 90m event to prove that he was taking the competition seriously. After finishing last in that, it seemed as though people admired him for his commitment, courage, and attitude towards trying something no matter what the outcome; it was the taking part that counted and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought about it.
To me, the film was always about finding something and seeing what would happen with it. Once Eddie found ski jumping, he did all he could to succeed in it, even though he had little experience with it. The pride Eddie had at the end of the film was infectious as it didn’t matter that he didn’t win – he went to the Olympics! Eddie’s hard work, commitment, and goals were the key to him getting there because he never gave up even when many people, I’m sure, would have.
From this film I have learnt that the real achievement is about taking part in something. In life we can all try our best at something and it may not work out, but isn’t that better than not trying at all? After all, don’t they say that it’s the things you don’t do in life that you regret rather than the things you do?
If you’ve seen ‘Eddie the Eagle’, do you agree with what I learnt from it? Feel free to comment below.