Jüri Jaanson

Jüri Jaanson in 2011
RE Jüri Jaanson.jpg
Personal information
Nationality Estonian
Born (1965-10-14) 14 October 1965 (age 55)
Pärnu, Estonia
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)[1]
Weight 94 kg (207 lb)[1]
Sport Rowing
Event(s) M1x, M2x, M4x
Club Pärnu Sõudeklubi
Medal record
Men's rowing
International rowing competitions
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 0 2 0
World Championships 1 1 3
European Championships 1 0 0
Total 2 3 3
Olympic Games
Representing Estonia Estonia
Silver medal – second place 2004 Athens Single Sculls
Silver medal – second place 2008 Beijing Double Sculls
World Championships
Representing Soviet Union Soviet Union
Gold medal – first place 1990 Tasmania Single Sculls
Bronze medal – third place 1989 Bled Single Sculls
Representing Estonia Estonia
Silver medal – second place 1995 Tampere Single Sculls
Bronze medal – third place 2005 Gifu Quadruple Sculls
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Munich Double Sculls
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 2008 Marathon Quadruple Sculls

Jüri Jaanson (born 14 October 1965) is the most successful Estonian rower of all time and the winner of five medals at World Rowing Championships. He became World Champion in Tasmania 1990 in the single sculls event. 14 years later, at age 38 he won an Olympic silver medal in the single sculls event at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.[2] In Beijing 2008 he won his second Olympic silver medal, this time in the double sculls event with Tõnu Endrekson.[3] He is a member of the SK Pärnu rowing club located in Pärnu. In 2007, Jaanson became the oldest rower ever to win a World Cup event at the age of 41 in Amsterdam.[4]

Jaanson was born in Tartu, and had to overcome a particularly challenging childhood, brought on by a severe case of pneumonia at the age of 2. Doctors gave antibiotics which saved him, but which also left him almost completely deaf. He attended a school for the deaf until he obtained a primitive hearing aid at the age of 12, allowing him to attend a regular school. Still, being a loner, he struggled with fitting in. At Tartu University, when a coach introduced him to rowing, he took to it passionately, in fact so passionately that he left the University to focus on rowing.[5] He wears hearing aids on a regular basis and was also seen wearing them during his rowing competitions.

Jaanson is among four athletes to compete in rowing at six Olympics, with Romanian Elisabeta Lipă in 2004, Canadian Lesley Thompson (cox) in 2008, and Australian James Tomkins.

On 18 November 2010, Jaanson announced ending his career. In July 2011 he was awarded with the Thomas Keller Medal, the highest honor in rowing.[6]

He is also a member of the Estonian parliament, the Riigikogu for the Reform Party.

Olympic Games

World Championships

European Championships

  • 2008 Marathon, GreeceMed 1.png Quadruple Sculls (with Tõnu Endrekson, Andrei Jämsä and Allar Raja)

Rowing World Cup

Overall wins

  • Single sculls: 1990, 1995
  • Quadruple sculls: 2005
  • Double sculls: 2007

See also


External links

Preceded by
Estonian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Estonian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Estonian Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Thomas Keller Medal
Succeeded by
Summer Olympics
Preceded by
Flagbearer for  Estonia
Atlanta 1996
Succeeded by