Event/Discipline: Canoe Slalom, K1W
Height: 5'5"
School: Texas State University
Club: Red River Racing

Career Highlights:

  • Returned to racing in March 2008 after shoulder surgery
  • 45th at 2010 World Championships
  • 3rd at 2010 U.S. National Championships
  • 45th at Bratislava (Slovak Open)
  • Competed on 2010 World Cup circuit


  • Job: Owner/Manager of Red River Racing/KayakInstruction.org
  • Hobbies: running, reading, learning about business
  • How'd you get started? A friend of the family got me to help judge a slalom race.
  • Trivia: I love color. I want to learn to do stain glass.
  • Websites: MichelleKvanli.com, RedRiverRacing.org

MIchelle started paddling after volunteering at a slalom race. She loved watching the boats and at the end of the race Mark Poindexter offered her to help her start paddling. Michelle lists coming back from a major shoulder injury to win nationals in 2009 and making the National team in 2010 as her biggest accomplishments. She paddles with the Red River Racing club.

Michelle and her husband Ben Kvanli run a non-profit paddling school that helps to support national and junior level athletes as well as being a chapter of Team River Runner, an organization that that teaches war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan how to paddle as a part of their physical therapy. Michelle also serves as the junior team coach for the Red River Racing club.