Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, International Ski Jumper
In 1984, Michael Edwards, better known as Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, is a British skier who was the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping. At the time, Edwards was the British ski jumping record holder, the world number nine in amateur speed skiing (106.8 mph) and the stunt jumping world record holder (10 cars/6 buses). But it was his Olympic appearance that would make him a household name.
Edwards was already a good skier with an Olympic dream but the difficulty of qualifying in this popular field led to his change of discipline to ski jumping. He had to overcome a number of challenges to compete: he was handicapped by his weight - at about 82kg, more than 9kg heavier than the next heaviest competitor - and by his lack of financial support for training - he was totally self-funded. Another problem was that he was very farsighted, requiring him to wear his glasses at all times, even though when skiing they fogged to such an extent that he could not see.
Edwards was the best ski jumper in the United Kingdom, setting a British record of 73.5m in one of his Calgary jumps in 1988 (the winner jumped 118.5m). However, his lack of success endeared him to people all across the globe. The worse he did, the more popular he became. He subsequently became a media celebrity and appeared on talk shows around the world, appearing on The Tonight Show during the Games.
In response to the Edwards phenomenon, in 1990, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) instituted what became known as the Eddie the Eagle Rule, which requires Olympic hopefuls to compete in international events and place in the top 30 percent or the top 50 competitors, whichever is fewer.
A film chronicling the life story of Edwards has been planned by Irish director Declan Lowney since 2007. Comedian Steve Coogan was originally slated for the title role, however, in 2009, Lowney announced that Rupert Grint would instead play the role. The film is scheduled to begin production once Grint has completed work on the Harry Potter films.
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Harry Ellis, Rugby Player
Sports Science, 2002
Harry Ellis is a retired English rugby union footballer who played scrum half for Leicester Tigers, England and the British & Irish Lions.
After starting out his rugby career in local clubs and the Leicester Tigers Academy, he made his first team Tigers debut in the Orange Cup game in Toulouse in August 2001. He was named Tigers’ Players Young Player of the Year for the 2001-2 season. He finally established himself as a regular in the No. 9 spot during the 2003-04 season, making 19 appearances and helping Tigers come back from a poor start to reach the Zurich Wild Card final.
His international career began when he was selected on England's 2004 summer tour as third choice scrum half behind Matt Dawson and Andy Gomarsall. Although he did not play on this occasion, he made his England debut from the bench in their 32-16 win over the Springboks in autumn 2004. He went on to become a regular fixture in the England side, rotating with Matt Dawson during the 2005 Six Nations. He had a very successful 2009 Six Nations tournament: he scored two tries in a man-of-the-match performance against Italy. His good form in the Six Nations contributed to him being picked for the 2009 British and Irish Lions tour, where he played as a substitute in the final Test win against the Springboks in Ellis Park.
On 8 July 2010, Ellis announced his retirement from the game as a result of a persistent knee injury.
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Kim Joo-Sung, Football Player
Sports Management, 2003
Kim Joo-Sung is a former South Korean football midfielder. He started his career has taken him from the clubs Chosun University and Busan Daewoo Royals, both in South Korea, to the German Bundesliga for VfL Bochum.
With the South Korea national team, he participated at three editions of the FIFA World Cup (1986, 1990 and 1994) and was elected the Asian Footballer of the Year for three consecutive years (1989, 1990 and 1991). He also competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
He now secretary general at the Korea Football Association (KFA).
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Lewis Moody MBE, International Rugby Player
Lewis Moody is a former English rugby union rugby player who played for Leiceser Tigers and Bath Rugby and was part of the 2003 World Cup winning side. He was renowned for his commitment to the physical aspects of the game. In the Leicester Tigers youth team he played flanker and went on to become the youngest Leicester Tigers' player to play a league game at 18 years and 94 days.
He played in both of Tigers’ European Cup wins in 2001 and 2002 and was a member of the Tigers side in the four seasons between 1998-2002. After the World Cup success in 2003, he suffered a stress fracture of his foot which took a long time to heal and kept him out of the remaining 2003-4 season. Moody made a return in October 2004, in the Heineken European Cup match against Calvisano, and stayed with Tigers captaining the side in the home fixture against Sale in 2009-2010 season. In the 2010–2011 season, he joined Bath Rugby.
Moody made his England debut against Canada on 2 June 2001, when the established internationals Neil Back and Richard Hill were touring Australia with the British and Irish Lions. He played a part in all seven 2003 World Cup matches and came on as a replacement in the final to replace Hill. He won the final line-out in the phase of play which led to Jonny Wilkinson’s winning drop goal. He was picked for the 2008 and 2009 Six Nations Championship, and went on to captain England in their final 2010 Six Nations Championship match against France.
On 23 October 2011, Lewis Moody announced his retirement from international rugby. Five months later he announced his full retirement from all rugby.
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Geordan Murphy, Rugby Player
Geordan Murphy is an Irish rugby union rugby player and plays fullback or wing for the Leicester Tigers and Ireland.
In 1997 shortly before he joined Leicester Tigers he gained his first U18 rugby cap for Ireland. He gradually made his way into the Tigers' first team squad, while gaining caps for Ireland U21. Murphy played in both of Leicester's back-to-back Heineken Cup final wins in 2001 and 2002. The 2001/02 season saw Murphy finishing the season as Tigers' top try scorer in all competitions.
He made his full Ireland debut against the United States in June 2000 and went on to score in the 2001 Six Nations. He toured with Ireland in the summer of 2002, then in the 2003 Six Nations earned himself the accolade of being named Irish Player of the Season by the Irish Rugby Writers.
He was a member of the victorious Ireland team that won the 2009 Six Nations Championship and Grand Slam. In May 2009, Murphy was named in the Barbarians squad to play England and Australia, and a year later was chosen to captain Ireland against the New Zealand Maori.
Murphy has seven league titles to his name, captaining Tigers to wins in the 2009 and 2010 finals after succeeding Martin Corry in that role. 2011/2012 will be his 15th season with Tigers.
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Anthony (Budge) Pountney, Rugby Player
European Studies/Sport Science, 1995
Budge is the former Director of Rugby at Northampton Saints rugby union club. He also played at flanker for Northampton and captained Scotland.
Pountney was eligible for Scotland by virtue of a grandmother born in the Channel Islands; as a dependency of the Crown outside of the United Kingdom, people from the Islands are eligible to represent whichever of the Home Nations they choose. He played for Scotland between 1998-2002, gaining 31 caps.
He started his Rugby career playing for the Winchester rugby football club mini rugby sides and from an early age it was evident that he would be a star of the future. He played for Saints between 1994-2003 and was part of the 2000 European cup winning team. In January 2003 he left Murrayfield in frustration for the last time, after speaking his mind very plainly on the problems he saw there. Late in 2004 he became head coach of Northampton Saints, together with former England fly-half and teammate Paul Grayson. In July 2005 he became Director of Rugby.
Since leaving rugby Anthony has gone on to work with introducing sport to children through his involvement in Water Babies and Rugbytots, UK's first rugby specific play programme for young children.
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Pedro Yang, Badminton Player
Business Administration, 2008
Yang played badminton at the 2004 Summer Olympics in men's singles, losing in the round of 32 to Jim Ronny Andersen of Norway.
He moved to Denmark at the age of 24 and started training at the International Badminton Academy (IBA). Yang has won a gold medal at the 2002 Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador and holds a national
record of four medals from the Pan American Games.
Yang plays in the first division of the Danish League for the club Skovshoved IF. He is a current member of the IOC Athletes Commission.
Pedro Yang is today a member of the ‘Champions for Peace’ club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.
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