After a construction accident that caused him to suffer severe electrical burns and the near loss of his legs at age 20, he battled to recover, and rose to become a two-time Olympian in the sport of kayaking. His fellow athletes elected him to bear the flag and lead Team USA into the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremonies of Sydney 2000. Meidl's inspiring story received major television and press coverage during the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics.
Meidl currently lives in Southern California, where he works in asset management. He is also a successful motivational speaker and member of the National Speakers Association. His motto is "Ad Astra Per Aspera" (Latin for: To The Stars Through Difficulties), and his speaking presentations focus on the universal topics of courage, hope, and achievement through adversity.
Meidl attended El Camino College, a junior college in Torrance, California before transferring to California State University, Long Beach, where he studied business administration. He later went on to the University of Southern California, where he earned an MBA. The two-time Olympian partners with foundations and 501(c3) organizations to advocate educational awareness, promote the sport of kayaking, and recognize individuals for exceptional effort, courage, and achievement in the midst of challenging circumstances.
Meidl was one of 20 athletes honored in a special collectible set called the Olympian Heroes Series, alongside such greats as Peter Vidmar, Rafer Johnson, and Mark Spitz. The series was created to benefit the Olympians for Olympians Relief Fund (OORF).
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (May 2009)|
- Official Website
- Sports-reference.com profile
- USA TODAY article "Olympic hero energizes electrical safety"
- Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2008). "Canoeing: Men's Kayak Singles 500 Meters". In The Complete Book of the Olympics: 2008 Edition. London: Aurum Pres Limited. p. 470.
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