Two-time U.S. Olympian to speak Friday at JULIE meeting

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

On Friday morning, two-time U.S. Olympian and utility damage survivor Cliff Meidl will partner with JULIE Inc. to speak about the importance of making a free call to 811 before digging at JULIE’s annual meeting at the Barber & Oberwortmann Horticultural Center in Joliet.

While using a jackhammer at age 20, Meidl hit three unmarked high-voltage electrical cables, severely injuring both of his knees. He miraculously recovered from his digging injury and after tireless training, he went on to compete in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics in the sport of kayaking.

In 2000, Meidl was chosen by his peers to be Team USA’s flag bearer in Sydney.

Meidl will deliver the keynote address at JULIE’s annual meeting. JULIE is a one-call notification center that informs member utility owners of a homeowner’s or contractor’s digging plans. Anyone who is planning to dig in Illinois must call the free service at 811 at least two full business days prior to any digging.

“My personal story connects me deeply to the safe digging community, so I’m really honored and excited to partner with JULIE to remind everyone to call 811 before starting any project that involves digging,” said Meidl. “One-call centers like JULIE have a critical role in protecting underground utilities."

This year marks 40 years of damage prevention for JULIE. Since its inception in 1974, JULIE has logged more than 25.5 million locate requests and its annual call volume makes it one of the largest industry one-call centers in the nation. 

For more information about JULIE, the one-call process or to place a locate request online, please visit