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April 19, 2011: Mr. Ben Kvanli

Founder, David and Debbie Power Olympic Outdoor Center

Ben Kvanli

Ben Kvanli is the founder of the Power Olympic Center, a 501 c3 non-profit, which raises money for programs for disabled military veterans, and at risk kids through whitewater adventure programs. After competing in the 1996 Olympics in whitewater kayak, Mr. Kvanli graduated in 2003 from the Texas State School of Business, and was a driving force behind the 2006 construction of Rio Vista Falls in San Marcos. Ben worked on bids to bring the Olympics to Texas both in Dallas, and in Houston, served on the Texas River Protection Association’s Hidalgo Falls Board, served on the board of the San Marcos Convention and Visitors Bureau from 2003-2008 where he served as Treasurer, and is currently on the Parks Board.

“I have been incredibly blessed in my life. Despite often going my own way God has put people in my life who have helped to make my dreams come true! My independence has lead me to discover many things that I wish that I had had to start learning to run a business, and even still would enjoy as I continue to work on my business. I get great pleasure from my business, and find that things that no one else would even consider doing are easy for me, because I have had to overcome all the odds just to get to where I am right now. I consider my work now like a vacation, because I have struggled, for so long, just to get the opportunity to do it. After twenty-eight years of paddling, I finally have a whitewater course in my back yard, but I spend most of His time sharing this sport with newer paddlers of all ages and abilities, because my job is to glorify God with the talents and abilities that He has blessed me with.
My goal is to give you a glimpse of what I have found and more. . . You will see that my career has already seen a lot of ups and downs which have made it clear that Ben is not the primary factor in this history. I just show up to see what God has in store for me.
 
Though I competed very well in the 1996 Olympics, my favorite race ever was the Olympic Team Trials Qualifier in San Marcos, TX, because it brought to life dreams that I have had since childhood. To see some of the most talented and gifted paddlers in the world competing on the course that I helped to bring to fruition, in the heart of my hometown, in a competition that my lovely wife, Michelle, had organized; was nothing short of a dream come true.”

 

Race Results:
1989 US Jr National B-Team K-1
1995 World Championships Nottingham, England 66th
1995 Pan Ams Brazil 5th
1996 Olympic Games 33rd on the Ocoee River
1997 World Cup 27th in Minden, Ontario
1997 World Cup 23rd on the Ocoee River
1999 World Championships Spain 76th
2000 World Cup Australia 47th
2002 World Championships France 54th
2003 World Championships Germany 67th
2005 US National Team Trials Durango, CO 1st C-2
2005 US National Championships Kern River, CA 1st C-2
2005 Pan Ams California 2nd C-2
2006 US National Team Trials Southbend, IN 1st C-2
2006 US National Championships Charlotte, NC 3rd C-2
2006 World Cup Athens, GRE 24th C-2
2006 World Cup Augsburg, GER 27th C-2
2006 World Cup La Seu de Urgell, Spain 18th C-2
2007 US National Team Trials, Charlotte, NC 4th C-2
2008 Pan Ams Charlotte, N.C. 2nd C-2
2008 USACK Lifetime Achievement Award (in partnership with my wife Michelle Kvanli)