Eddie the Eagle made quite the splash earlier this year when the Sundance Film Festival hosted a secret showing as the movie's world premiere. The actors energized the crowd and got everyone excited to see the film about an underdog who, against all odds, was able to make his way to the Winter Olympics. After getting the chance to see it, I can safely say that Eddie the Eagle is truly inspiring, and the uplifting tale has something for everyone. Here are some key details you should probably know before entering the theater.
Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards
Michael Edwards, more popularly known as "Eddie," was the first ski jumper to compete in the Olympics representing Great Britain. He's most known for his run in 1988 when he competed in both the 70M and 90M jumps. Though currently regarded as a hero, his journey wasn't as smooth you'd might think. He was denied entrance to the British downhill skiing team and thus made the switch to ski jumping, an event that no Brit had ever taken part in. The expensive training took a toll on his bank account and Eddie actually found out of his qualification for the Olympics while "working as a plasterer and residing temporarily in a Finnish mental hospital due to lack of funds for alternative accommodation."
It isn't just a sports film
Personally, I am not the biggest fan of the classic sports film, but this movie probably shouldn't be considered "a sports movie" in the strictest sense. While the Olympics do function as the backdrop and Eddie's training sequences show his physical prowess, this movie is more about his perseverance and the obstacles he overcomes than it is about the sport itself.
Eddie really was in the hospital as a kid
Over the course of the movie we watch Eddie growing up while his determination to make his way to the Olympics never wavers. This goal is borne from the time that Eddie spent in hospital as a child where he had a book about the Olympics, which became a symbol of his recovery and perseverance. He had a disease in his knees that doctors could never really diagnose, but he was still hospitalized for a month.
Coach Peary never really existed
One of the most endearing things about the film is Eddie's relationship with Coach Peary, played by Hugh Jackman. However, in reality there was no such man. Eddie was actually coached by two different English men. The relationship that is shown in the movie, however, is still very strong and reminds us that with even one supportive person in our corner, we can achieve greatness.
Eddie might not be the best at what he does, but he certainly does his best
Eddie went into this endeavor knowing that he probably wouldn't win, but he defined his own achievement differently. What he was worried about at the end of the day was doing his best and proving to everyone that he could compete at the pinnacle of sports. In short, taking part really is what counted. The goal for him wasn't standing on the podium and getting the gold, it was the chance to be there at all to represent his country. It was all about showing how a lifelong dream could come true.
This movie has a lot of heart. It isn't about the outcome. It's about the journey, the obstacles that life might throw at you, and how, no matter what, you can overcome them. It is about soaring like an eagle when everyone is trying to bring you down, a theme which will no doubt give generations to come new hope and ambition. The road to the Olympics wasn't easy for Eddie, but he made it happen anyway. In this day and age, I think we all need a little reminder of that.