Special Olympics Illinois Welcomes New Athlete Board Member at 2018 Winter Games

On February 6, the town of Galena, Illinois opened its arms and welcomed Special Olympics Illinois for the 38th Annual Winter Games. More than 440 athletes competed in snowshoeing and Alpine skiing over the course of three days at Chestnut Mountain. In honor of the 50th Anniversary, the Opening Ceremony was made extra special. After the parade of athletes through downtown Galena and speeches, the festivities ended in a beautiful fireworks display. Special Olympics Illinois also welcomed athlete and Global Messenger, Daniel Smrokowski, to the Board of Directors. Daniel, who graduated with a journalism degree from Roosevelt University, hosts his own podcast called Special Chronicles – an outlet that provides a voice for those with intellectual disabilities across the globe. Daniel also serves on the 50th Anniversary Marketing & Communications Committee and has been a wonderful asset to the planning and preparation of the 50th Anniversary happening later this summer. Please enjoy his recap of Winter Games below:

By Daniel Smrokowski

I am honored that this past Tuesday, February 6th I attended by first Board of Directors meeting for Special Olympics Illinois.  I am honored to be a new board member and am grateful for this opportunity to serve my fellow athletes on being on the board.  I’m grateful to meet so many kind Board members who care about the Special Olympics movement in transforming the lives for those of us with intellectual disabilities.

As this year 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics movement, I am excited to help guide on SOILL Board of Directors, and the Marketing/Communications committee, as we discuss and promote ways to share the stories of how Special Olympics transforms the lives for those of us with intellectual disabilities as we Choose To Include in this Inclusion Revolution.

This is my second time attending the Winter Games.  The first time was about four years ago when I podcasted live and photographed at the 2014 Winter Games.  This year, 2018, I returned to not only be voted in as a new board member but also to produce media.  During the Parade of Athletes and Opening Ceremonies that took place on Tuesday evening in downtown Galena, I Took Over the Special Olympics Illinois Facebook Live stream to bring our community a live look at all that took place as this year’s State Winter Games were declared open.  I also once again went a top Chestnut Mountain in Galena– this time Assistant Director of Digital Marketing Teresa Crudele-Seidel and I were joined by special guest Assistant Director of Communications Alex McMillin for a special LIVE Edition of our Tuesday’s with Teresa podcast series, bringing you behind-the-scenes of the Special Olympics movement.