Project Tokyo 2020

It's not often that dreams actually become a reality. For this to happen it's important to have goals and it's important for them to be challenging. In my case, the goals have always been tough.

I remember my first race very well. There was a feeling of thrill and excitement of chasing something, even if it was out of reach for me at the time. This experience opened me up to something huge and I realized soon after how much I loved to compete. Dreaming big started to become a daily routine for me as a kid. I've always been very ambitious but I never expected things to just happen for me. I wanted to win the Junior World Championships and so I worked very hard to make that goal a reality. In the end, I was 4th. That was a hard pill to swallow for a 16 year old especially after getting so close. Fast forward nearly ten years and you really start to see how that experience led me to dream even bigger. My next goal was to win the U-23 World Championships. Crazy enough, I actually achieved this goal! The dreams became even bigger after that and I remember telling myself that I wanted to win the Senior World Championships and go to the Olympics.

In case you're wondering, I still haven't been able to win the World Championships but I did get pretty close with a bronze medal back in 2015. Plus, shortly after this medal I qualified and competed at my first Olympic Games. Like I said, it's not often that dreams actually become a reality. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and many years of experience before you're able to figure out the equation to your own success. I've been so lucky to be part of this amazing sport and I can't wait for another chance to make my dreams a reality, this time in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympics!

Why I need your support?
The pre-Olympic season is the most financially challenging year and unfortunately, I'm currently not able to afford all of my training/competition expenses. My average expenses for flights, accommodation, training camps, race entry fees each season add up to at least $30,000.

Please consider helping me realize my next big dream.

Thank you!


Michal Smolen
Gastonia, NC

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