At North Salem High School, McArdle was a three-sport letterman (football, wrestling, track), and student body president. He was a track standout at the University of Oregon. As an outstanding hammer thrower, he represented the U.S. in numerous international events, ultimately making the 1980 Olympic Team. He is still a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee. John McArdle is committed to public service, and is currently in his fourth term as mayor of Independence, Oregon.