Portraits – Michael ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards
Michael ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards photographed in Stroud on the 8th August 2017. (above photo – the glasses worn by Eddie at the 1988 Winter Olympics).
My knowledge of Eddie came from my memories of him at the 1988 Winter Olympics and having watched Eddie the Eagle the movie, Youtube footage of Eddie and read online press articles about him I came to the conclusion that there was much more to him than meets the eye.
Eddie is a fighter, he has spirit, determination and a dogged perseverance that in 1988 prevailed. He fought the system, he stood up against the powers that closed the doors and to the people that said ‘No’ and he shone through. At the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary he provided the nation and arguably the world with joy, he made you believe, ultimately he gave people hope.
Hope? A powerful word with a powerful meaning. Hope is what makes people get up in the morning, hope is what makes people believe, hope is what people cling onto with a view that something great might happen. Eddie the Eagle gave people hope. He said in his own unique way that if I can do it then you can do it.
I explained to Eddie that I wanted his portrait to have a serious, hard edge feeling to it. I would like to think that my portrait exposes Eddie, shows his vulnerabilities but also captures his determination and drive. In essence the characteristics that formed him as an athlete.
I need to thank Eddie for the meat & potatoe pie and the coffee that he bought me today but most of all I would like to thank him for providing me with those fabulous memories from when he was launching himself from crazy ski slopes in Canada in 1988.
8th August 2017