Deceased , Modern



1956 - 2020

Kevin Burnham was a two-time Olympic medalist in sailing. He won the silver medal in 1992 with Morgan Reeser in the 470 class and in 2004 won the gold medal with Paul Foerster. He also won a gold medal at the 1986 Goodwill Games. Burnham was a sailor who competed in virtually every type of race. In ocean racing, he competed in the Sydney-Hobart Race, The Rolex Transatlantic Challenge, and the Newport-to-Bermuda Race. Burnham later turned to coaching, working with US sailors, as well as the Israeli and Czech Republic national teams. He also coached Paralympian sailors.

Honors and Accomplishments:

  • In 2022, US Sailing created the Kevin Burnham Memorial Fund and Award. The fund will help to provide financial support to athletes competing in two-person trapeze dinghies in Olympic classes and/or in the Olympic Development Program. The honor is awarded annually to a competitor (or team of competitors) who best exemplifies Kevin’s spirit and embodies these characteristics: passion, perseverance, persistence, sportsmanship on and off the water, love of the sport and love of his/her competitors. (
  • Represented the United States at three Olympics: 1992, 1996, 2004
    • Olympic Gold Medal, 2004 (oldest gold medalist, with Paul Foerster)
    • Olympic Silver Medal, 1992(with Morgan Reeser)
  • 1st, Worrell 1000, 1989
  • Goodwill Games, Gold Medal, 1986
  • 11-time US Champion in various boats

Kevin Burnham’s obituary, published November 27, 2020, by US Sailing (pdf): Burnham, Kevin obituary


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