Jonathan Lugbill

Every great organization needs a strong leader to encourage colleagues and get things done! As Executive Director of Richmond Sportsbakers, Jon inspires and motivates staff, volunteers, and donors to promote active living on a daily basis. He doesn’t just come up with ideas, he helps execute even when that entails getting a little dirty. As a kid Jon wanted to be a park ranger, which isn’t too far off since he knows almost everything about the great outdoors of Richmond. In his off-time (and sometimes his on-time) you’ll see him enjoying the perks of the James River Park Trails, paddling RVA’s rapids, biking around town, and supporting his beloved UVA Wahoos. He’s on the Board of Directors at SwimRVA and Richmond Region Tourism, and serves on the Executives Roundtable at Chamber RVA.

From Oakton High School, in Fairfax County, Jon Lugbill is widely considered to be one of the greatest canoe slalom racers in the history of the sport. The University of Virginia alumnus, began canoeing in the Washington D.C. area in the 1970’s, and soon would become a World Champion and record holder, accomplishing feats that have yet to be duplicated. Beginning with his first individual World Championship victory in 1979, Lugbill would add four more individual World Championships (’81, ’83, ’87, and ’89), and another seven C-1 team race World Championships to his resume, for a total of twelve World Championship gold medals. Lugbill also has a silver medal in the C-1 event to his credit. Beginning in 1988, Lugbill won the first of his three consecutive overall individual Canoe Slalom World Cup Championships. In his only Olympic appearance in 1992 (whitewater canoeing was not an Olympic sport earlier in his career), Lugbill finished fourth after a technical violation dropped him from gold medal position. For his exploits in the canoe, Lugbill was chosen as USA Canoe Kayak’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1989, and is the only paddler ever to appear on the Wheaties box. Lugbill is a 2005 inductee into the International Whitewater Hall of Fame.

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