real Legends

Jean Pierre Burny

Jean Pierre Burny

Category: Champion
Sport: Downriver Racing
Years Active: 1960-1989
Home Base: Strassen, Luxembourg

Champion Accomplishments:

Four-Time World Champion K1-Downriver: 1969, 1973, 1975, 1979
Europa Cup Champion K1-Downriver: 1974
Belgian National Award of Merit 1975
Pre-World Champion K1-Downriver: 1978
Other Accomplishments:

Bronze Medal in Flatwater Sprint K-1 500m at 1970 World Championships
Silver Medal in Flatwater Spring K2 500 m
Olympic Games in K-1 Flatwater Sprint: 1000m in 1972
Two Olympics in K-2 Flatwater Sprint: 1000m in 1968, 1976 and 500m in 1976

Jean-Pierre is often considered one of the greatest whitewater downriver paddlers of all times. He was the dominant force in K1 downriver racing in the 1970’s winning four world championships over a ten-year timeframe, from 1969 to 1979. In 1967, he won the FiBArk race in the U.S. on the Arkansas River in Colorado, the much touted U.S. 25.7 mile downriver race which has drawn many of the top international competitors over the last 60 years. Ever the athlete and competitor, Jean-Pierre also competed in K1 and K2 500m and 1000m Flatwater Sprint contests and at the Olympics in 1972, finished just out of the medals in fourth place in th K1 1000m race. He also competed in the 1976 Olympics in flatwater competition foregoing Europa Cup that same year. Since retiring from serious competition, Jean-Pierre continues to coach and also to compete at the senior and veteran level of the sport. The “Jean-Pierre Burny Marathon” in the Netherlands is named after him.


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