Profile Jonathan David Edwards was born on 10 May 1966 in London. His father, a vicar, was a keen sportsman and Jonathan was encouraged by him to participate in different sports. At school Edwards’ talent for the triple jump was noticed at an early age. He went on to become the finest triple jumper of all time.
As a devout Christian, Edwards initially refused to compete on Sundays, a decision preventing him from competing in the 1991 World Championships. However, in 1993, after much reflection and debate with his father, he changed his mind. He said that God gave him his talent in order to compete. Edwards went on to win the bronze medal at the 1993 World Championships.
Edwards set three triple jump world records during his career. In 1995, after jumping a wind-assisted 18.43m early in the season, Edwards became the first athlete to exceed the 18 metre mark for the event. On 7 August 1995, he sailed to 18.29m at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, a world record which still stands in 2008.
Edwards went into the 1996 Olympic Games as hot favourite and world record holder. However, he ended up winning only the silver medal, finishing second to American Kenny Harrison who took the gold with a jump of 18.09 metres. Four years later Edwards did collect his Olympic gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He also won gold at the 2001 World Championships.