Share Share: May 6, 2016 Model Olympian: Michal Smolen Model Olympian: Michal Smolen Michal Smolen’s nickname: “Meesh” Smolen was born in Krakow, Poland and became a proud U.S. citizen in 2013. Smolen enjoys mountain biking, climbing and playing the guitar. Smolen’s favorite quote: “Winning isn’t everything, but making the effort to win is.” – Vince Lombardi Kayaking is in his blood: Smolen’s father, Rafal, was on the Polish National Team. Michal Smolen’s role model is Campbell Walsh because he is what he calls a “little beast.” After missing the 2012 London Games due to circumstances beyond his control. Michal Smolen heads into Rio as the Team USA representative of the men’s slalom kayak single.