Safety & Health Expo 2019
Who is Eddie the Eagle, inspirational speaker at Safety & Health Expo 2019?
The 2019 Safety & Health Expo Inspirational Speaker line-up has been announced. The show is held at London’s ExCel from 18-20 June. This year, the talks will cover courage, resilience and breaking the mould.
Michael Edwards, famously known as ‘Eddie the Eagle’, is an English skier who in 1988 made the world headlines by representing Great Britain in the 70m and 90m ski jumping at the Calgary Olympics. He was also the British ski jumping record holder and, after retiring from ski jumping, Eddie went on to become ninth in the world amateur speed skiing, and a stunt jumping world record holder for jumping over six buses.
Eddie is famous for personifying the Olympic spirit and for his determination to represent his country without any form of funding. With a law degree from De Montfort WilUniversity in Leicester, he works as a commentator for numerous TV shows and is also a motivational speaker at conferences and corporate events.
What is courage? Is it just about a willingness to take risks, or is it more about being willing to face your fears? What about perseverance, failing but getting up and trying again? And then there’s the courage required to try something new or to try to see things differently. Sometimes the old view is comforting. Sometimes telling yourself that doing something big or rising to the challenge is impossible. Sometimes, it’s so much easier to find an excuse than to find the courage and take the risk.
There is always the risk of failing when you’re trying something new. And in the case of Eddie the Eagle, his ambitions also put him at risk of severe injury. Not landing the 90-meter jump at the Calgary Winter Olympics could have had terrible consequences. But actually, his most serious injury was caused by something completely different.
Eddie recently filmed a re-enactment of his worst injury with Larry Wilson, CEO and author of SafeStart, which provided a totally new way to look at risk – especially the risk of serious injuries and fatalities.
In this inspirational keynote address you will hear about Eddie’s career, his most serious injury and his perspective on risk. Together, Eddie and Larry bring new insights into courage and risk with engagement, humour and a touch of seriousness, so that the safety community can make better risk assessments: especially when it comes to the real risk of serious injuries and fatalities.
Eddie on ambition and resilience
“If you have got a dream and you’ve got ambition, then go for it. You know, unless you try, you’ll never know.”
“Resilience can go an awful long way.”
“I had no money, no training facilities, no snow, no ski jumps, no trainer, but I still managed to ski jump for my country – and getting there was my gold medal.”
“When I started competing, I was so broke that I had to tie my helmet with a piece of string. On one jump, the string snapped, and my helmet carried on farther than I did. I may have been the first ski jumper ever beaten by his gear.”
“I was exemplifying the Olympian who took up a challenge as a sportsman, without a trainer, in a country without mountains and without snow. And, inside of two years, I was representing my country.”
“No matter how many people say you can’t do something, use that as inspiration to prove them wrong.”
Eddie on guts and mental strength
“Ski jumping is just 10% physical, 90% mental. Some people can’t do that. It’s not just to do with the fear at the top. It takes a lot of guts to go off the top, but it takes 100 times more courage to jump off the end.”
“It takes a lot of guts to jump. If people criticise, I would give them a set of skis and say, ‘Do it yourself then.’”
“In the right circumstances, terror is good. It makes you focus.”
Eddie on failure
“The failures are the people who never get off their bums.”
“You’ve got to think life can give you some bad knocks; no matter how hard you’re knocked, you’ve got to get up.”
Eddie on the Olympics
“Where is it written that the Olympics are only for winners?”
“I was a true amateur and embodied what the Olympic spirit is all about. To me, competing was all that mattered.”
“On the street, I’ll hear, ‘You made the Olympics for me,’ or ‘I love what you represented.’ Only occasionally is it, ‘You were a flop, an also-ran, a loser.’”
Eddie on injuries
“I’ve fractured my skull twice, damaged a kidney, snapped a cruciate ligament in my knee, and broken all manner of bones, including my jaw. And I count myself very lucky it hasn’t been worse!”
Catch Eddie and Larry in the Keynote Theatre at 11:30am on Wednesday 19 June. They will be joined at the show by fellow Inspirational Speakers, Jonny Wilkinson and Steph McGovern.
To book your free place, click the link below.
Former Olympic ski jumper, Eddie the Eagle's speech, "Courage and risk – a different perspective," focuses on risk and safety. His perseverance, courage and hard-work in the face of insurmountable odds provides a universal lesson. There is always the risk of failing when you’re trying something new. And in the case of Eddie, his ambitions also put him at risk of severe injury. Eddie will be joined on stage by Larry Wilson, CEO and author of Safestart UK. He will talk about his career, his most serious injury and his perspective on risk. The session will bring new insights into courage and risk with engagement, humour and a touch of seriousness.