By Tom Degun

jonathan edwards_25-11-11November 25 - Sydney 2000 Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards (pictured) has been named as the new President of the prestigious Wenlock Olympian Society in Shropshire.

The iconic Society was founded in Much Wenlock back in 1850 by the legendary Dr William Penny Brookes to run the Wenlock Olympian Games.

It was this event that inspired Brookes' friend Baron Pierre de Coubertin to create the Olympic Movement, including the first Modern Games at Athens in 1896.

Edwards, who also still holds the triple jump world record which he set in 1995, has been the vice-president of the Wenlock Olympian Society but has accepted the post of President after the previous incumbent Roy Rogers died suddenly in April this year at the age of 79.

Rogers was a former Olympic and Commonwealth official and President of Midland Counties Athletics.

Rogers held the post of Wenlock Olympian Society President for six years after he took it up in 2005 following the death of Norman Wood, arguably the greatest leader of the society since Brookes as it was Wood who spearheaded the revival of the Wenlock Games in 1977 during a 25 year reign.

jonathan edwards_wenlock_announcement_25-11-11
Edwards himself though, already has a place in Wenlock Olympian Society folklore because it was the 45-year-old from Windsor who officially announced at the Priory Hall in Wenlock in May last year that the London 2012 Olympic mascot would be called "Wenlock" in honour of the huge contribution of Brookes and Much Wenlock to the formation of the Modern Olympics.

Edwards made the historic announcement in front of 130 people in Priory Hall, who had no idea what was coming as they were simply attending a dinner titled "An evening with Jonathan Edwards".

Edwards is widely considered one of Britain's greatest ever athletes having won gold at the Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships, while his world record of 18.29 metres, set back at the World Championships in Gothenburg, has never been seriously threatened in over 16 years.

Since his retirement, Edwards has become a BBC commentator and television presenter, as well as being an influential member of the London 2012 Board where he serves as Athlete Representative.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
May 2011: Much Wenlock Museum awarded Heritage Lottery Fund grant for London Olympics project
April 2011: Much Wenlock Olympic Society President dies
March 2011:
 Much Wenlock sets up Olympic inspired press office
May 2010: Exclusive - Much Wenlock celebrates having London 2012 mascot named after it