WNC paddler enters hall of fame

Paddling legend Bunny Johns was inducted into the International Whitewater Hall of Fame this fall for her sport-changing facilitation of how the process, technique and safety of whitewater paddling instruction are taught and shared across the USA.

Johns won this year’s Advocate category, bestowed during a reception Saturday, Oct. 21, at Nantahala Outdoor Center in Swain County. She supported and guided a period of profound transformation of whitewater kayaking instruction in her roles as an American Canoeing Association instructor trainer and chairwoman of the Training Committee, and as department head, vice president and president of NOC between 1976 and 2000. Johns was also an accomplished racer, winning the Gold Medal in C2 Mixed at the 1981 World Whitewater Championships in Bala, Wales, with partner Mike Hipsher.

Other inductees included Nikki Kelly, of New Zealand, and Julie Munger, of the USA, in the Explorer category; and Bill Masters, founder of Perception Kayaks, in the Pioneer category.


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