We’re delighted to announce that the 2016 BWF Annual Dinner & Awards will be hosted by one of Great Britain’s most famous Olympians, the one and only Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. The event will be held at the spectacular National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham.
Michael Edwards, better known as 'Eddie the Eagle', was the first competitor to represent the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team in Olympic Ski jumping. Eddie was working as a plasterer when he qualified as the sole British applicant for the 1988 Winter Olympics ski-jumping competition in Calgary, Canada (see picture).
The odds were stacked against him: he weighed 9kg more than the next heaviest competitor; he lacked financial support for training and was totally self-funded; he had problems with heights; and he needed to wear his glasses at all times, which fogged up to such an extent while skiiing that he could not see.
Eddie eventually finished last in both the 70m and 90m events - and his heroic failures endeared him to people all across the globe. In fact, the worse he did, the more popular he became, to the point where Eddie became a media celebrity and appeared on talk-shows around the world. The press nicknamed him "Mr. Magoo", and one Italian journalist called him a "ski dropper".
Despite not being the best in the world, Eddie was the best ski jumper in Great Britain at the time of his Olympic entry, but the widespread attention that he received in Calgary turned into a large embarrassment for the ski jumping establishment. Shortly after the Olympics finished, the entry requirements were greatly toughened, making it next to impossible for anyone to follow his example.
He subsequently released a book called 'On the piste' and much later a song called "Fly Eddie Fly" that reached the Top 50 in the UK. He also recorded a song in Finnish, titled "Mun nimeni on Eetu" ("Eagle's my name"), though he does not speak Finnish.
You may have seen Eddie on television recently in the diving programme 'Splash', where he did a synchro dive with Tom Daley, and also the Channel 4 show 'The Jump'. In 2016, he was portrayed by Taron Egerton in the biographical film Eddie the Eagle, and he remains one of the best loved athletes today.
Here you can download the Annual Dinner 2016 flyer and booking form.
This year for the first time the Awards have been moved to co-locate with the W16 Exhibition at the Birmingham NEC (on the evening of the 4th October 2016). The event will be held at the spectacular National Motorcycle Museum, conveniently close to the exhibition centre.
A formal dinner with a relaxed atmosphere, the event is a great opportunity for BWF members and their guests to network, celebrate achievements in our sector and enjoy a five star evening in the heart of England with colleagues from the woodworking industry. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are again freezing the individual ticket price and yet again all those shortlisted for the BWF Woodworking Awards receive a free ticket to the event.