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Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards olympics 2000.jpg
Jonathan Edwards at the 2000 Olympics
Jonathan David Edwards

(1966-05-10) 10 May 1966 (age 56)
Nationality British
Education Degree in Physics
Alma mater Van Mildert College, Durham University
Known for World record holding athlete, Olympic Gold medalist & television work
Height 183 cm
Title CBE
Board member of London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games
Spouse(s) Alison
Children Nathan and Sam
Jonathan Edwards
Medal record
Representing  England and  Great Britain
Men’s athletics
Olympic Games
Gold 2000 Sydney Triple jump
Silver 1996 Atlanta Triple jump
Commonwealth Games
Gold 2002 Manchester Triple jump
Silver 1990 Auckland Triple jump
Silver 1994 Victoria Triple jump
World Championships
Gold 1995 Gothenburg Triple jump
Gold 2001 Edmonton Triple jump
Silver 1997 Athens Triple jump
Bronze 1993 Stuttgart Triple jump
Bronze 1999 Seville Triple jump
World Indoor Championships
Silver 2001 Lisbon Triple jump
European Championships
Gold 1998 Budapest Triple jump
Bronze 2002 Munich Triple jump
European Cup
Gold 1995 Villeneuve d'Ascq Triple jump
Gold 1996 Madrid Triple jump
Gold 1997 Munich Triple jump
Gold 1998 Saint Petersburg Triple jump
Gold 2001 Bremen Triple jump
Gold 2002 Annecy Triple jump
Silver 1999 Paris Triple jump
European Indoor Championships
Gold 1998 Valencia Triple jump

Jonathan David Edwards, CBE, (born 10 May 1966 in London) is a former British triple jumper. He is a former Olympic, Commonwealth, European and World champion. He has held the world record in the event since 1995.

After his retirement as an athlete, Edwards has worked as an athletics commentator and presenter for BBC television. He was a devout Christian. He presented episodes of the BBC Christian worship programme Songs of Praise. He lost faith in 2007. He is a member of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.


Edwards attended West Buckland School where his ability in the triple jump was seen at an early age. He was a strong all-rounder and on leaving received the school's top award for sporting and academic excellence, the Fortescue Medal. Other students with Edwards at West Buckland School included Victor Ubogu and Steve Ojomoh. Both are former Bath and England Rugby international players. Edwards now has a Sports Hall at West Buckland named after him; The Jonathan Edwards Sports Centre. Edwards then read Physics at Durham University, attending Van Mildert College.

Athletics career

Sports personality of the year trophy
BBC Sports Personality of the Year trophy

Because of his strong Christian beliefs, he refused to compete on Sundays at first. Eventually he decided to do so in 1993. This decision proved important, since the qualifying round at that year's World Championships took place on a Sunday. He went on to win the bronze medal.

In his breakthrough year of 1995, he produced a jump of 18.43 m (60 feet 5½ inches) at the European Cup. The leap was wind assisted and did not count for record purposes. But it was a sign of things to come as he capped an unbeaten year. He had a historic gold medal performance at the World Championships. There he broke the world record twice in the same meet. On his first jump, he became the first man to legally pass the 18-metre barrier (18.16 m/59 feet 7 inches). That record lasted for about 20 minutes. His second jump of 18.29 m made him the first to jump 60 feet. During his commentary for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Edwards said that during the 1995 World Championships, he felt as if "he could jump as far as he needed to". Later the same year Edwards became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

During 1996 Edwards went into the Olympic games as favourite and world record holder. But it was American Kenny Harrison who took the gold with a jump of 18.09 m. Edwards walked away with the silver after a leap of 17.88 m (the longest ever jump not to win gold). Edwards won the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. He was awarded the CBE shortly afterwards. He also won golds at the 2001 World Championships and 2002 Commonwealth Games. At one point in 2002, Edwards held all the gold medals for the "four majors" (Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games & European Championships). He retired after the 2003 World Championships as Great Britain's most successful medal winning athlete.

Post-athletics career

Following his retirement, Edwards pursued a media career as a television presenter. He worked mainly for the BBC as a sports commentator and on programmes such as Songs of Praise. He gave up this programme, due to his loss of faith, in February 2007.

In 2004 Edwards joined with Paula Radcliffe on an Olympic Special Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. The pair raised £64,000 for charity with half of that sum going to the British Olympic Association and a quarter of the sum going to Asthma UK.

He is a member of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. He represents athletes in the organisation of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Personal bests

  • Triple Jump - 18.29 (WR), 18.43 m W +2.4 (not ratified due to excessive wind conditions)
  • 100 m - 10.48
  • Long jump - 7.41 m


An honorary doctorate was conferred upon him at a ceremony at the University of Exeter on 21 January 2006.

Later in the same year, an honorary doctorate of the university (DUniv) was conferred upon him at the winter graduation ceremony of the University of Ulster (19 December 2006).

Personal life

Edwards lives with his wife Alison in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne. He has two sons, Nathan and Sam.

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