For a better browsing experience please switch your browser out of compatability mode.

Michal Smolen


  • 2016

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 

2016 U.S. Olympic Canoe/Kayak Team

Career Highlights:
  • 2016 Olympian
  • 2015 World Championships: BRONZE
  • 2015 Pan American Games: GOLD
  • 2015 U.S. National Team Trials: 1st in K1 and 3rd in C2 with Zach Lokken
  • 2014 World Championships: 13th
  • 2014 World Cup No. 3: BRONZE
  • 2014 U-23 World Champion
  • 2012 U.S. National Champion
  • 2012 U-23 World Championships: 5th
  • 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials: 2nd
  • 2010 Junior World Championships: 4th

Recent Results:

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


  • 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

Related Articles

More Stories ›