Tim Burke (biathlete)

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Tim Burke
Full name Timothy John Burke[1]
Born (1982-02-03) February 3, 1982 (age 35)
Paul Smiths, New York, United States
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Ski club Lake Placid Biathlon Club
World Cup career
Seasons 2004–
Indiv. podiums 5
Updated on 14 February 2013.

Timothy John "Tim" Burke (born February 3, 1982 in Paul Smiths, New York) is a U.S. biathlete. At the 2007 World Championships in Antholz, he made US history by finishing 7th in the men's 20 km race.[citation needed] On December 20, 2009, he became the first ever US biathlete to lead the overall Biathlon World Cup.[2]

Early career[edit]

Burke first took up biathlon in 1997[3] and soon became a promising prospect on the national level, first competing for the United States in the Biathlon Junior World Championships in 2000.[3] Burke competed in the World Junior Championships another three times, but without ever finishing in the top 10.[3]

Burke's formative years were plagued by ill health.[4] Most critically, he had career-threatening hip problems in 2002, eventually managing a full recovery after surgery.[4] He also suffered from mononucleosis.[4]

World Cup career[edit]

Burke debuted in the Biathlon World Cup in the latter half of the 2003–04 season at Ruhpolding, Germany.[3] This season also marked Burke's first World Championships; however, he failed to make an international impact, not achieving any World Cup points.[3][4]

Burke made his first US Olympic team in 2006,[3][5] 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.[3][note 1] However, his moment of international attention came as Jay Hakkinen surprisingly brought the US team to the first exchange in first place.[5][7] Burke, on the second leg, thus had the honour of leading the Olympic relay.[5] 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.[7]

Per Nilsson of Sweden became the head coach of team US in 2006.[4] Burke, whose results soon improved markedly under Nilsson's guidance, credits the Swede with "teaching me what hard training really looks like."[4] 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[8] 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.[3][9] Burke got his season-best 6th-place finish in a mass start at Pokljuka, Slovenia on January 21, 2007.[10] 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.[3]

The 2007–08 season was a disappointment as Burke suffered from health problems again[11] and failed to improve on the previous year, finishing 29th in the overall World Cup.[3] 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;[4][11] though as he entered the pursuit from a meager 45th place, he still only finished 7th.[11][12] In the last race, a mass start, he placed 8th despite four penalty loops.[11][13] These were his best finishes that year.[3]

2009–10 World Cup season[edit]

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.[14] (Josh Thompson had been the first.) Burke continued to produce solid results in the following competitions, consistently finishing in the top 20.[3] This solidity – combined with the absence of Norwegian World Cup leader Emil Hegle Svendsen from the third competition weekend at Pokljuka, Slovenia[15] and the disastrous 103rd place[16] 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.[17][18] The winner,[17][18] 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.[19][20]

Burke then entered a slump with a season-worst 31st place the next weekend in a sprint at Ruhpolding.[21] His bad form continued at Antholz, Italy, as he finished 29th in the 20 km individual competition and 21st in the sprint.[3][22]

2010 Winter Olympics[edit]

After the Olympics[edit]

Burke's problems continued in the last races of the season. He fell ill after the Olympics[23] 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.[3][24] Thanks to his strong early season, he still finished a career-best 14th in the overall World Cup.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Since October 25, 2014, Burke has been married to former German biathlete Andrea Henkel.[26]


  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.[3][6]


  1. ^ "Homepage of Olympic Biathlete Tim Burke". Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  2. ^ a b Kokesh, Jerry (2010-01-09). "Tim Burke Wears Yellow Bib in Sprint". IBU. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "IBU DATACENTER/Tim Burke". Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Franke, Viktoria (2009-12-21). "Current World's Best Biathlete: Tim Burke". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  5. ^ a b c "Tim Burke – Athletes – US Biathlon". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  6. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-27. 
  7. ^ a b "COMPETITION ANALYSIS MEN'S 4x7.5 KM RELAY" (pdf). 
  8. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  9. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  10. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Burke Closes Out Biathlon World Cup With 8th". 2008-03-17. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  12. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  13. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  14. ^ Kokesh, Jerry (2009-12-03). "Svendsen Wins 20K on a Cold Night". IBU. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  15. ^ Lewis, Michael C. (2010-01-02). "Surging biathletes ready to make noise in Vancouver". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  16. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  17. ^ a b Kokesh, Jerry (2010-01-09). "Ustyugov Battles Elements to Take Oberhof Sprint". IBU. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  18. ^ a b "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  19. ^ Kokesh, Jerry (2010-01-10). "Björndalen in Dominating Mass Start Win". IBU. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  20. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  21. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  22. ^ Franke, Viktoria (2010-01-23). "21st Place for Burke in Antholz Sprint". Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  23. ^ Franke, Viktoria (2010-03-17). "Oslo Next World Cup Stop". US Biathlon. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  24. ^ "IBU DATACENTER". IBU. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  25. ^ "E.ON RUHRGAS IBU WORLD CUP BIATHLON" (pdf). IBU. 2010-03-27. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  26. ^ "Biathlon-Olymiasiegerin Andrea Henkel hat geheiratet". Thüringer Allgemeine Zeitung. 2014-10-26. 

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