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Jon Lugbill

Canoe/Kayak

  • 1992
Olympic Experience: 1992 Barcelona, Spain
Event/Discipline: Canoe Slalom, C-1
Date of Birth: May 27, 1991

Jon Lugbill is widely considered to be one of the greatest canoe slalom racers in the history of the sport. Winning five World Championship Gold medals and one Silver medal from 1979 to 1989, Lugbill dominated the sport in a fashion that has never again been duplicated. 

During the 1970s, Jon began canoeing in the Washington D.C. area. Training in a group stacked with future World Championship medalists (notably David and Cathy Hearn) and coached by Bill Endicott, Jon honed his skills and won his first World Championship in 1979. From there things took off as Lugbill won Gold in 1981 (Bala, Wales), 1983 (Merano, Italy), 1987 (Bourg St. Maurice, France), and 1989 on the Savage River (Western Maryland, USA). At the 1985 World Championships in Augsburg, West Germany, Jon walked away with a Silver medal as training partner David Hearn won Gold. Lugbill also won seven consecutive World Championship Gold medals in the C-1 team race event (1979-1991).

Outside of his World Championship results, Lugbill won three consecutive overall World Cup titles, including the inaugural 1988 season. 

During the peak of Lugbill's racing career, canoe slalom was not included in the Summer Olympic Games program. His only Olympic appearance came in 1992 when the sport returned to the Olympic Games after a twenty year hiatus. On the artificial course in La Seu d'Urgell, Spain, a five-second touch penalty left Lugbill to finish fourth. 

Jon lived in Archbold, Ohio until he was three years old. He then moved to Vienna and then Fairfax, Virginia where he attended the Lanier Intermediate School and Oakton High School. He later graduated from the University of Virginia. Jon now serves as the Executive Director of Richmond Sports Backers and resides in Richmond, VA.