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Michal Smolen


Event/Discipline: Canoe Slalom, K1
Hometown: Gastonia, N.C.
Birthplace: Krakow, Poland
Birthdate: 9/13/1993
Height: 5'11"
School: Queens University of Charlotte
Club: Nantahala Racing Club 
Social Media: Follow Michal on Facebook and Twitter @MichalSmolen

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

Career Highlights:
  • 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 Championships: 1st in K1
  • 5th at 2012 U-23 World Championships
  • 2nd at 2012 US Olympic Team Trials
  • GOLD at 2011 Vadja Teen Cup No. 2 (Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia) in U18 Men's K-1, GOLD at Teen Cup No. 3 (Solkan, Slovenia), SILVER at Teen Cup No. 4 (Tacen, Slovenia)
  • Finished 1st among junior and senior men's kayaks at 2011 US Team Trials
  • 3-time U.S. Junior National Champion
  • 6th at 2010 U.S. Open
  • 4th at 2010 Junior World Championships
  • 2nd at Navey Saez Cup in Poland

Recent Results:

  • 2015 U.S. Open: 1st in K1 and 2nd in C2 with Zach Lokken
  • 2014 British Open: 4th 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 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
  • 2013 U.S. Open: 1st in K1
  • 54th at 2012 World Cup No. 3
  • 27th at 2012 World Cup No. 2
  • Reached semifinals at the 2012 Oceania Open - placing 24th


  • Nickname: "Meesh"
  • Occupation: Student
  • Hobbies: Kayaking, movies, biking
  • 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"
  • Trivia: I want to be a doctor.
  • To learn more about Michal, watch this video feature.
  • 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 paddle, and uses Sandiline gear.

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