King’s Ely Junior was delighted to welcome Eddie the Eagle as guest speaker at its annual prize giving event in Ely Cathedral today (7).

Hundreds of pupils, teachers, parents and VIP guests heard Eddie’s inspirational speech, including several amusing anecdotes that inspired the children and enthralled the audience. He used his example of being an underdog or “heroic failure”, and reflected on his perseverance and achievement without funding. He spoke directly to the pupils about hard work, determination and resilience, traits that he used in his journey. Eddie observed that the only failure to avoid was not trying in the first place. He encouraged the children to believe their dreams could come true, as he did.

Eddie spoke of his honour of speaking and presenting the prizes to the children: It was a pleasure to meet such a lovely group of children and an honour for me to present them with their prizes, and in such lovely surroundings.”

The Head of King’s Ely Junior, Richard Whymark, commented: “Eddie’s warmth and naturally positive disposition shone through his words, delivering an encouraging and aspirational keynote speech.  We were fortunate that Eddie could join us to celebrate all the students’ hard work and dedication at the end of the year.”

Michael “Eddie” Edwards, nicknamed Eddie the Eagle by the media, is a British ski jumper and skier who in 1988 became the first competitor since 1929 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping. At the time, he was the British ski jumping record holder, the world number nine in amateur speed skiing and held a stunt jumping world record of six buses. He famously finished last in the 70m and 90m events.

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