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Michal Smolen


Discipline/Event: Canoe Slalom, K1 and C2 with Zach Lokken
Hometown: Gastonia, N.C.
Birthplace: Krakow, Poland
Birthdate: 9/13/1993
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 155lbs
School: Belmont Abbey College
Club: Nantahala Racing Club 

2015 U.S. Senior National Team & 2015 Pan American Games Team Member

Career Highlights:
  • 2015 World Championships: BRONZE in K1
  • 2015 Pan American Games: GOLD in K1
  • 2015 U.S. National Team Trials: 1st in K1 and 3rd in C2 with Zach Lokken
  • 2014 World Championships: 13th in K1
  • 2014 World Cup No. 3: BRONZE in K1
  • 2014 U-23 World Champion in K1
  • 2012 U.S. National Champion in K1
  • 2012 U-23 World Championships: 5th in K1
  • 2012 US Olympic Team Trials: 2nd in K1
  • 2011 Vadja Teen Cup: FIRST overall in K1
  • 2011 U.S. National Team Trials: 1st in K1
  • 2010 Junior World Championships: 4th in K1

Recent Results:

  • 2016
    • 2016 Australian Open: 4th in K1 (GOLD in U23) and 17th in C2 with Zach Lokken (BRONZE in U23)
  • 2015
    • 2015 World Cup Final: 39th in K1
    • 2015 World Cup No. 4: 43rd in K1
    • 2015 World Cup No. 3: 13th in K1 and 27th in C2 with Zach Lokken
    • 2015 World Cup No. 2: 43rd in K1
    • 2015 World Cup No. 1: 15th in K1
    • 2015 U.S. Open: 1st in K1 and 2nd in C2 with Zach Lokken
  • 2014
    • 2014 British Open: 4th in K1
    • 2014 World Championships: 14th in K1
    • 2014 World Cup Final: 28th in K1
    • 2014 World Cup No. 4: 12th in K1
    • 2014 World Cup No. 1: 37th in K1
    • 2014 ICF Junior & U-23 World Championships: GOLD in K1, 22nd in C1
    • 2014 U.S. Team Trials: 2nd in K1
    • 2014 U.S. Open: 1st in K-1, 5th in C1
    • 2014 Oceania Championships: 5th in K1, 12th in C1
  • 2013
    • 2013 World Championships: 39th
    • 2013 Final World Cup Series Rankings: 34th
    • 2013 World Cup Final: 39th, SILVER in Team K1
    • 2013 World Cup No. 4: 53rd in K1
    • 2013 U-23 World Championships: 18th in K1
    • 2013 World Cup No. 2: 20th in K1
    • 2013 World Cup No. 1: 14th in K1
    • 2013 U.S. Team Trials: 2nd in K1


  • Nickname: "Meesh"
  • Occupation: Full-time athlete
  • Sponsors: Nantahala Outdoor Center, Galasport, Sandiline, PowerZone Trading
  • Hobbies: Mountain biking, climbing, playing the guitar
  • Quote: "Winning isn't everything, but making the effort to win is."
  • Getting started: My dad, Rafal Smolen, was on the Polish National Team.
  • Role Model: Campbell Walsh because he is what I call a "little beast"
  • Biography: Click here to read Michal’s story and the challenges he faced in becoming an elite level athlete. ~
  • Currently lives and trains in Charlotte, NC at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, a U.S. Olympic Training Site. He is coached by his father, Rafal Smolen. Michal uses a Galasport Sonic Boom kayak, a Galasport Meg paddle, and uses Sandiline gear

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