Discipline/Event: Canoe Slalom, K1 and C2 with Zach Lokken
Hometown: Gastonia, N.C.
Birthplace: Krakow, Poland
School: Belmont Abbey College
Club: Nantahala Racing Club
- 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
- 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
- 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
How He Qualified:
With his 3rd place finish at the 2016 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in London, England, Smolen not only qualified the U.S. an Olympic quota slot in the men's single kayak (K1) event, he also took a dominating lead in the U.S. Olympic Team selection processes. At the first U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Charlotte, NC, Smolen blew away the competition to solidify a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team for the first time.
- 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. ~ http://michalsmolen.com/about.html
- 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
Team USA Gears Up For Excitement Of Rio 2016
Andrea Mazzarelli June 23, 2016
Athletes have spent months competing in and visiting Rio and look forward to getting there this summer.
50 Social Media Accounts To Follow On The Road To Rio
June 16, 2016
Check out the accounts of these athletes, National Governing Bodies and media outlets to get yourself Rio ready!
Celebrate Flag Day With These 80 Patriotic Team USA Athletes
June 14, 2016
Team USA athletes are proud to represent the red, white and blue.
11 Travel Tips For Anyone Going To Rio
Lisa Costantini May 17, 2016
From the things to pack to the things to see, Team USA athletes share their best advice.
100 Storylines To Follow For The Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Karen Rosen April 27, 2016
Find out just about everything you need to know for the final countdown to the Rio Games.
Meet The First 100 Members Of The 2016 U.S. Olympic Team
April 24, 2016
From boxers to wrestlers, these athletes were the first to punch their tickets to Rio.
Red, White & Trending: April 8-14
Jamie MacDonald April 15, 2016
Wrestler Tervel Dlagnev's go-to move is gratitude after Rio qualification, the best balance beam routine ever (guess who?), Cam Newton threatens to become a water polo force, a Purple Heart recipient and Paralympian honors her 'tragic day,' Tyler Clary needs driving lessons, Kobe Bryant trends worldwide, Kayla Harrison says goodbye, Sanya Richards-Ross says congratulations, Aly Dudek can't stop flexing, the Shib Sibs make two appearances and more.
Michal Smolen Wins Olympic Berth In Men’s Kayak, Could Become Team USA’s First Medalist
Craig Bohnert April 09, 2016
Smolen’s world bronze medal and Olympic Trials #1 win secured his spot.
Optimism High For Olympic Medals As Canoe/Kayak Slalom Trials Begin
Doug Williams April 07, 2016
Michael Smolen and Casey Eichfeld lead the push for a first U.S. Olympic whitewater medal since 2004.
Olympic Team Trials Preview
Aaron Mann April 06, 2016
The road to Rio begins April 8-9 in Charlotte, NC
More Stories ›