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The lifetime athletic accomplishment of reigning World Freestyle Kayak champion Eric â€œEJâ€ Jackson will be recognized next month during induction ceremonies into the International Whitewater Hall of Fame.
On Oct. 11 at Nantahala Outdoor Center, Jackson will join other distinguished paddlers who have been recognized for significant accomplishments and contributions to whitewater related activities. The International Whitewater Hall of Fame Board of Governors and the US Paddlesports Industry Association choose inductees.
â€œI’m truly honored to accept this recognition from my mentors and peers in an industry within which I’ve been able to pursue so many dreams and ambitions,â€ said Jackson. â€œThis honor is a tribute to love. The realization of so many dreams was made possible by my lifelong love and partner Kristine, the love of my two amazing oldest children that humbles me every day, the pure bundle of love that is my newborn son, and a world full of so many loving friends, and of course, my undying love for paddling.â€
Jackson’s career in kayaking spans four decades and counting. Jackson has achieved top results and firsts in a diversity of disciplines within the sport from representing the US at the Olympics in slalom, to setting a record number of titles in national and world freestyle competitions, to countless extreme racing wins, to recording first descents on some of the world’s most daunting rivers. He also founded his namesake and leading brand of whitewater kayaks and founded World Kayak, a global initiative aimed at growing the sport by making kayaking more fun and accessible on and off the water.
Jackson will be joining 11 other paddlesports luminaries at this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony. Inductees hail from around the world and reflect the various disciplines and evolution of paddlesports:
Explorers: Walt Blackadar, Mick Hopkinson; Champions, Cathy Hearn, Richard Fox, Gilles Zok, Eric Jackson; Pioneers, Tom Prijon. Carl Luther; Advocates, Bill Endicott, William Nealy, Kent Ford, Klaus Lettmann.