Tim Burke (biathlete)

Last updated
Tim Burke
2018-01-06 IBU Biathlon World Cup Oberhof 2018 - Pursuit Men Tim Burke cropped.jpg
Burke in 2018
Full nameTimothy John Burke [1]
Born (1982-02-03) February 3, 1982 (age 41)
Paul Smiths, New York, United States
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Ski clubLake Placid Biathlon Club
World Cup career
Indiv. podiums6
Medal record
Men's biathlon
Representing Flag of the United States.svg  United States
World Championships
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2013 Nové Město 20 km individual
Updated on 14 February 2013.

Timothy John Burke (born February 3, 1982 in Paul Smiths, New York) is a retired U.S. biathlete and coach. On December 20, 2009, he became the first ever US biathlete to lead the overall Biathlon World Cup. [2] During his career he competed in 11 Biathlon World Championships and four Winter Olympic Games, won a World Championship silver and took six podiums in World Cup races. [3]



Early career

Burke first took up biathlon in 1997 [4] and soon became a promising prospect on the national level, first competing for the United States in the Biathlon Junior World Championships in 2000. [4] Burke competed in the World Junior Championships another three times, but without ever finishing in the top 10. [4]

Burke's formative years were plagued by ill health. [5] Most critically, he had career-threatening hip problems in 2002, eventually managing a full recovery after surgery. [5] He also suffered from mononucleosis. [5]

First World Cup seasons

Burke debuted in the Biathlon World Cup in the latter half of the 2003–04 season at Ruhpolding, Germany. [4] This season also marked Burke's first World Championships; however, he failed to make an international impact, not achieving any World Cup points. [4] [5]

Burke made his first US Olympic team in 2006, [4] [6] and came quite close to achieving his first World Cup points (the Olympics being part of the Biathlon World Cup), placing 35th in the sprint and 36th in the following pursuit. [4] [note 1] However, his moment of international attention came as Jay Hakkinen surprisingly brought the US team to the first exchange in first place. [6] [8] Burke, on the second leg, thus had the honour of leading the Olympic relay. [6] However, this did not last long, as US dropped to 8th place on Burke's leg with him needing all three spare rounds in both shootings; they eventually finished 9th. [8]

Per Nilsson of Sweden became the head coach of team US in 2006. [5] Burke, whose results soon improved markedly under Nilsson's guidance, credits the Swede with "teaching me what hard training really looks like." [5] The 2006–07 season was a great success for Burke, who got the first World Cup point of his career already in the season-opening 20 km individual at Östersund, Sweden with a 30th place [9] and followed up with another five points finishes, including the first top 10 finish of his World Cup career in a sprint at Hochfilzen, Austria. [4] [10] Burke got his season-best 6th-place finish in a mass start at Pokljuka, Slovenia on January 21, 2007. [11] At the World Championships in Antholz, Italy, Burke placed 7th in the individual competition. He eventually finished a very respectable 25th in the overall World Cup standings. [4]

The 2007–08 season was a disappointment as Burke suffered from health problems again [12] and failed to improve on the previous year, finishing 29th in the overall World Cup. [4] However, Burke finished that year on a high note as in the second-last race of the season, a pursuit at Holmenkollen, Oslo, Norway he became the first ever US biathlete to have the best scratch time in a World Cup competition; [5] [12] though as he entered the pursuit from a meager 45th place, he still only finished 7th. [12] [13] In the last race, a mass start, he placed 8th despite four penalty loops. [12] [14] These were his best finishes that year. [4]

2009–10 World Cup season

The first half of the 2009–10 Biathlon World Cup season marked Burke's breakthrough to the absolute elite of biathlon. In an individual 20 km competition at Östersund, Sweden, the opener of the 2009–10 World Cup season, Burke became the second ever US biathlete to finish 2nd in a Biathlon World Cup competition. [15] (Josh Thompson had been the first.) Burke continued to produce solid results in the following competitions, consistently finishing in the top 20. [4] This solidity – combined with the absence of Norwegian World Cup leader Emil Hegle Svendsen from the third competition weekend at Pokljuka, Slovenia [16] and the disastrous 103rd place [17] of Austria's Christoph Sumann in the Pokljuka sprint – meant that on December 20, 2009 Burke, despite never winning a World Cup race, became the first ever US biathlete to capture the overall World Cup lead. [2]

Burke initially held that position for just one competition, as he only finished 19th in a 10 km sprint at Oberhof, Germany in adverse weather conditions. [18] [19] The winner, [18] [19] Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia, in turn captured the World Cup leader's yellow bib for the first time in his career. However, Burke recaptured the lead in the very next race (the first mass start of the season) by matching his career-best 2nd-place finish. [20] [21]

Burke then entered a slump with a season-worst 31st place the next weekend in a sprint at Ruhpolding. [22] His bad form continued at Antholz, Italy, as he finished 29th in the 20 km individual competition and 21st in the sprint. [4] [23]

2010 Winter Olympics

At the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, Burke had big expectations and aimed to win a medal but instead left at one of the lowest in his 14 years as a USA national team member. [24] This came as a disappointment to him as prior to the competition, he had medalled on the World Cup Tour. [25] In addition, there was media hype around his participation as he was the first American to lead the Biathlon World Cup standings and was a strong medal contender. [26] The increased media attention may have impacted his possible success, as he felt he did "a bad job dealing with that". [27] There was also poor snow conditions which can lead to more friction for the athletes, resulting in slower speeds. [28] Burke placed 18th in mass start, 45th in individual, 46th in pursuit, 47th in sprint and 13th in relay. [29] His first race was the individual, where landing him at 45th place came as a shock to him as it was his lowest finish that season. [30]

After his 15k mass start race, his coach, Nilsson, believed that Burke did not find the balance "between calm and aggressiveness". [31] Burke reflected on his own race, suggesting it may have been the pressure that ultimately got to him and caused him to make the three misses that ended his chances in medalling. [31] Evgeny Ustyugov from Russia, Martin Fourcade from France and Pavol Hurajt from Slovakia placed first, second and third, respectively.

After the Olympics

Burke's problems continued in the last races of the season. He fell ill after the Olympics [32] and failed to score another top 20 finish until the second-last individual race of the season, a 10 km sprint at Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, where he finished 11th despite one miss at both shooting stages. [4] [33] Thanks to his strong early season, he still finished a career-best 14th in the overall World Cup. [34]

Post-competition career

After Burke retired from competition at the end of the 2017-18 season, in May 2018 he was announced as athlete development manager with U.S. Biathlon Association. [3] The following year he was appointed to the newly created post of Director of Athlete Development with the USBA, working alongside his former team-mate Lowell Bailey, who had been appointed as the Association's High Performance Director. [35]

Personal life

Since October 25, 2014, Burke has been married to former German biathlete Andrea Henkel. [36] He has expressed support for stricter gun control in the United States, stating during the 2018 Winter Olympics that although he was a keen hunter, "if locking up all my sport rifles and hunting rifles meant saving one life, I would do it". [37]

Biathlon results

All results are sourced from the International Biathlon Union.

Olympic Games

0 medals

EventIndividualSprintPursuitMass startRelayMixed relay
Flag of Italy.svg 2006 Turin 58th35th36th9th
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg 2010 Vancouver 45th47th46th18th13th
Flag of Russia.svg 2014 Sochi 43rd19th22nd21st8th
Flag of South Korea.svg 2018 Pyeongchang 41st47th17th6th15th
*The mixed relay was added as an event in 2014.

World Championships

1 medal (1 silver)

EventIndividualSprintPursuitMass startRelayMixed relay
Flag of Austria.svg 2004 Oberstdorf 61st71st18th
Flag of Austria.svg 2005 Hochfilzen 63rd66th
Flag of Italy.svg 2007 Antholz 7th35th32nd24th9th
Flag of Sweden.svg 2008 Östersund 29th9th10th25th15th
Flag of South Korea.svg 2009 Pyeongchang 14th11th21st28th21st
Flag of Russia.svg 2011 Khanty-Mansiysk 30th31st30th6th
Flag of Germany.svg 2012 Ruhpolding 56th10th28th23rd10th12th
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg 2013 Nové Město Silver28th32nd30th12th
Flag of Finland.svg 2015 Kontiolahti 31st15th20th14th14th
Flag of Norway.svg 2016 Oslo Holmenkollen 44th14th17th12th8th
Flag of Austria.svg 2017 Hochfilzen 36th40th32nd7th
*During Olympic seasons competitions are only held for those events not included in the Olympic program.
**The mixed relay was added as an event in 2005.


  1. At the time, only the top 30 were awarded Biathlon World Cup points. This was revised upwards to 40 starting in 2008–09. Burke had previously finished 33rd in a World Cup competition at Hochfilzen, Austria. [4] [7]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tomasz Sikora</span> Polish biathlete

Tomasz Sikora is a former Polish biathlete.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Greis</span> German biathlete

Michael Greis is a former German biathlete.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Rösch</span> German and Belgian former biathlete (born 1983)

Michael Rösch is a German and Belgian former biathlete.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kaisa Mäkäräinen</span> Finnish biathlete

Kaisa Leena Mäkäräinen is a Finnish former world-champion and 3-time world-cup-winning biathlete, who currently competes for Kontiolahden Urheilijat. Outside sports, Mäkäräinen is currently studying to be a Physics teacher at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu. Her team coach is Jonne Kähkönen, while Jarmo Punkkinen is her ski coach.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dominik Landertinger</span> Austrian biathlete

Dominik Landertinger is a retired Austrian biathlete.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jean-Philippe Le Guellec</span> Canadian biathlete

Jean-Philippe Le Guellec is a former Canadian biathlete.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2009–10 Biathlon World Cup</span>

The 2009–10 Biathlon World Cup was a multi-race tournament over a season of biathlon, organised by the International Biathlon Union. The season started 2 December 2009 in Östersund, Sweden and ended 28 March 2010 with the Mixed Relay World Championships in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Races of the season were broadcast in Europe on Eurosport channel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lowell Bailey</span> American biathlete

Lowell Bailey is an American biathlon coach and retired biathlete who competed from 2001 until 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tarjei Bø</span> Norwegian biathlete

Tarjei Bø is a Norwegian professional biathlete. Awarded Olympic gold medals, World Championship gold medals and World Cup victories from 2010 to 2022. Bø debuted in the Biathlon World Cup on 26 March 2009 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. In the 2010 Winter Olympics, he earned his first gold medal in the 4 × 7.5 km biathlon relay. On 10 December 2010 he won the World Cup sprint race in Hochfilzen, his first world cup victory. He also won the following pursuit race and anchored the winning relay team. Bø is the older brother of biathlete Johannes Thingnes Bø.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Martin Fourcade</span> French biathlete and sous-lieutenant

Martin Fourcade is a retired French biathlete and sous-lieutenant. He is a five-time Olympic champion, a thirteen-time World Champion and a seven-time winner of the Overall World Cup. As of February 2018, he is the most successful French Olympian of all time. Fourcade is the all-time biathlon record holder of overall World Cup titles with seven big crystal globes and he's also the all-time record holder of the most consecutive Major Championships titles with at least one non-team gold medal in every major championship from 2011 to 2018.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Milanko Petrović</span> Serbian biathlete

Milanko Petrović is a Serbian biathlete who participated at the 2010 Winter Olympics, becoming the first olympic biathlete for independent Serbia. At the 2014 Winter Olympics he carried Serbian flag at the opening ceremony and competed in biathlon and cross-country skiing. He represents Serbia at the Biathlon World Championships and he is a regular participant of the Biathlon World Cup and the first ever Serb to win World Cup points. Occasionally, he competes in cross-country skiing. At the 2013 Winter Universiade he made a remarkable success by winning first ever international medals for Serbia in biathlon and cross-country skiing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Evgeniy Garanichev</span> Russian biathlete

Evgeniy Aleksandrovich Garanichev is a Russian biathlete, who has been competing on the World Cup circuit since the 2010–11 season. He has had five Top 10 finishes in World Cup races in individual races. He got his first win in individual races on 3 February 2012.

Hubert Leitgeb was an Italian biathlete.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hidenori Isa</span> Japanese biathlete

Hidenori Isa is a former Japanese biathlete. He was one of the top male Japanese biathletes from 2000 until his retirement in 2014.

Vyacheslav Derkach is a former Ukrainian biathlete.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alexander Loginov (biathlon)</span> Russian biathlete

Alexandr Viktorovich Loginov is a Russian biathlete. He began his career in 2004.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2013–14 Biathlon World Cup</span>

The 2013–14 Biathlon World Cup was a multi-race tournament over a season of biathlon, organised by the International Biathlon Union. The season started on 24 November 2013 in Östersund, Sweden, and ended on 23 March 2014 in Holmenkollen, Norway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michal Krčmář</span> Czech biathlete

Michal Krčmář is a Czech biathlete and an Olympic silver medalist in the sprint at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Daria Virolaynen</span> Russian biathlete

Daria Leonidovna Virolaynen, née Reztsova, is a Russian and Finnish biathlete.

Vladimir Velichkov is a Bulgarian former biathlete. He was among the best biathletes during the 1980s and he is generally recognised as the greatest male Bulgarian biathlete of all time.


  1. "Homepage of Olympic Biathlete Tim Burke" . Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  2. 1 2 Kokesh, Jerry (2010-01-09). "Tim Burke Wears Yellow Bib in Sprint". IBU . Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  3. 1 2 Kortemeier, Todd (2 May 2018). "Four-time Olympian Tim Burke Hired By U.S. Biathlon To Help Next Generation". United States Olympic Committee . Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 "IBU DATACENTER/Tim Burke" . Retrieved 2010-01-10.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Franke, Viktoria (2009-12-21). "Current World's Best Biathlete: Tim Burke". Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  6. 1 2 3 "Tim Burke – Athletes – US Biathlon". Archived from the original on February 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  7. "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  8. 1 2 "COMPETITION ANALYSIS MEN'S 4x7.5 KM RELAY" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on 2011-07-07.
  9. "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  10. "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  11. "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  12. 1 2 3 4 "Burke Closes Out Biathlon World Cup With 8th". 2008-03-17. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  13. "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  14. "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  15. Kokesh, Jerry (2009-12-03). "Svendsen Wins 20K on a Cold Night". IBU. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  16. Lewis, Michael C. (2010-01-02). "Surging biathletes ready to make noise in Vancouver". The Salt Lake Tribune . Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  17. "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  18. 1 2 Kokesh, Jerry (2010-01-09). "Ustyugov Battles Elements to Take Oberhof Sprint". IBU. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  19. 1 2 "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  20. Kokesh, Jerry (2010-01-10). "Björndalen in Dominating Mass Start Win". IBU. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
  21. "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-10.
  22. "IBU DATACENTER" . Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  23. Franke, Viktoria (2010-01-23). "21st Place for Burke in Antholz Sprint". Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  24. "Q&A with Tim Burke". Eurosport. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  25. Reuter, Lou. "Tim Burke hopes for redemption in fourth Olympic Games". Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  26. Sullivan, Teresa. "American Tim Burke Raises Hopes for First US Biathlon Olympic Medal at Vancouver". VOA News. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  27. Maese, Rick. "American Tim Burke takes aim at Olympic biathlon history". The Washington Post. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  28. Casselman, Anne. "Vancouver 2010 to Be Warmest Winter Olympics Yet". National Geographic. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  29. "Time Burke". Team USA. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  30. Hersh, Philip. "A small-town guy shoots - and skis - for the big prize again". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  31. 1 2 Herz, Nathaniel. "Burke's Medal Hopes Fade After 18th in Mass Start". FasterSkier. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  32. Franke, Viktoria (2010-03-17). "Oslo Next World Cup Stop". US Biathlon. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  33. "IBU DATACENTER". IBU. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  34. "E.ON RUHRGAS IBU WORLD CUP BIATHLON" (PDF). IBU. 2010-03-27. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2010-02-15. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  35. "New Season Begins: A Spin on the Coaching Carousel". International Biathlon Union . 10 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  36. "Biathlon-Olymiasiegerin Andrea Henkel hat geheiratet". Thüringer Allgemeine Zeitung. 2014-10-26.
  37. Calkins, Geoff (20 February 2018). "Winter Olympics 2018: Biathlete Lowell Bailey takes aim at assault weapons". The Commercial Appeal . Retrieved 19 March 2018.