Joe Jacobi won a gold medal in the 400-meter Canadian
Slalom (C-2) Pairs (w/Scott Strausbaugh) at the 1992 Olympic
Games. The Barcelona champions were the first-ever Americans
to win a gold medal in whitewater canoeing.
Jacobi experienced a ‘career year’ in 1992.
In addition to their Olympic championship, he and Strausbaugh
captured their fifth consecutive U.S.
title in the C-2 (two-man) National Championships, and were ranked 5th overall
in the International Whitewater series.
Leading up to their Olympic gold medal victory, Jacobi and Strausbaugh finished
first in the C-2 Slalom event at the 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival. In 1991, they
were U.S. National C-2 champions. That same year, Jacobi won the C-2 Mixed
National title, and finished second in the C-1 International Whitewater series
Following the 1992 Olympics, Jacobi enjoyed considerable success paddling both
C-1 and C-2 events through 1995. Thereafter, he devoted his attention to C-1
whitewater almost exclusively, but fell short of qualifying for the 1996 and
2000 Olympic Games. In 2002, he began a new C-2 partnership with Matt Taylor––in
time to make a run to qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
A dozen years after his gold medal victory in Barcelona, Jacobi (and Taylor)
won the 2003 U.S. National C-2 Slalom championship, and were fourth at the
2003 World Championships in Augsburg, Germany. The pair took third place at
the U.S. C-2 Olympic time trials and qualified for the 2004 Games. They finished
ninth in the finals in Athens.
Jacobi is co-author of the book, The Olympic Dream and Spirit.