Growing up in Kenora this exceptional athlete excelled in a number of sports including basketball, football and track and field. Attracting the attention of various scouts, it was internationally acclaimed track and field coach Andy Higgins that persuaded Michael to make the most of his athletic talents by pursuing the multi disciplined sport of decathlon. Joining the University of Toronto Track Club in 1985, it was not long before he was making a name for himself on the world stage.
In 1986, competing in only his third decathlon, he claimed a silver medal for Canada at the World Junior Track and Field Championships. He followed up his 14th place showing in his first Olympics in Seoul in 1988 with a gold medal performance at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland.
In 1991 he entered the record books by becoming the first North American ever to win the prestigious Götzis International Decathlon, a title he reclaimed in 1996 with an outstanding 8,626 point performance, setting a Canadian record that stood until 2015.
Claiming the silver medal at the 1991 World Track and Field Championships in Tokyo, he was given the honour of being selected to carry the flag for Canada at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, a competition he was forced to withdraw from due to injuries.
Competing on home soil he garnered a silver medal for the heptathlon at the 1993 World Indoor Championships in Toronto with a Canadian record setting 6,279 points, and repeated as Commonwealth Games champion in Victoria in 1994.
The bronze medalist at the 1995 World Athletics Championships in Sweden, he competed in his third Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and rounded out his incredible career with a 1998 Commonwealth Games bronze medal. In 1999 he joined the CBC as a track and field analyst.
Ranked a top 10 world decathlete from 1989-98 Michael Smith not only earned the respect and admiration of his many fans throughout his career, he also established a place for himself in the record books as one of the finest track and field athletes ever produced in Canada.
Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 24, 2005