Cliff Meidl

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Cliff Meidl
Cliff Meidl 2000.jpg
Meidl (center) at the 2000 Olympics
Personal information
Born (1966-03-06) March 6, 1966 (age 53)
Manhattan Beach, California, U.S.
Height187 cm (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Weight86 kg (190 lb)
SportCanoe sprint

Cliff Meidl (born March 6, 1966) is a retired American Sprint Kayaker. He competed in 1000 m kayak events at the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics.[1] He also served as the U.S. flag bearer at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games.[2]


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.[2]

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.[2] 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).


  1. ^ a b Cliff Meidl.
  2. ^ a b c Mike Falcon (February 1, 2001) Olympic hero energizes electrical safety. USA Today

External links[edit]

  • Official Website
  • 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.
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Eric Flaim
Flagbearer for  United States
Sydney 2000
Succeeded by
Amy Peterson