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Jon Lugbill

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJon Phillip•Lugbill
Used nameJon•Lugbill
Born27 May 1961 in Wauseon, Ohio (USA)
Measurements175 cm / 79 kg
NOC United States


A good case can be made that Jon Lugbill is the greatest American athlete in an Olympic sport to have never won a medal at the Olympics. Lugbill was a slalom canoeist who won 12 gold medals at the World Championships between 1979-91, including individual titles in C-1 in 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, and 1989. He won the first three editions of the canoe slalom World Cup, beginning in 1988. He is almost universally acclaimed as the greatest C-1 slalom racer of all-time.

Unfortunately, slalom canoeing was not an Olympic discipline in 1976, 1980, 1984, nor 1988, at the height of his career. The events were returned to the Olympic program at Barcelona in 1992, but Lugbill was by then 31-years-old and slightly past his prime. He finished fourth in Barcelona, after hitting a gate in his first run, with Czechoslovakian gold medalist Lukáš Pollert noting, “Lugbill was ahead of us all.”

Lugbill graduated from the University of Virginia. He later settled in Richmond, Virginia with his family where he served as Executive Director of Richmond Sports Backers.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1992 Summer Olympics Canoe Slalom (Canoeing) USA Jon Lugbill
Canadian Singles, Slalom, Men (Olympic) 4

Special Notes