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Daniel Smrokowski, Special Olympics Athlete, Illinois and Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger

Daniel "Dan" Smrokowski

Daniel Smrokowski is an award-winning and veteran podcaster, columnist, and an acclaimed advocate telling disability stories on his groundbreaking, global platform Special Chronicles reaching thousands of people each month. As a digital media creator, he produces podcasts, videos, blogs, columns, and does public speaking to give respect and voice to people with special needs. Daniel educates and informs our communities that those with different abilities bring unconditional love and joy every day. Even though Communication is Daniel’s biggest struggle it has been his biggest passion.

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Content By This Author

Building An Inclusive Society: Goals For Final Year of My SSIGM Term

I have four meaningful goals for this year that I hope to accomplish, with the love and support of my mentors and staff from Special Olympics and my family and friends.
5 Min Read

Connect with an Inclusive Workforce

It all began with a phone call I received in September 2019. Karen Milligan, Director of Athlete Leadership at Special Olympics Illinois, had a big opportunity for me -- a groundbreaking job opportunity with United Airlines, Global Platinum Partner of Special Olympics. Three years ago, my employment journey took off to new heights. I have collaborated with many colleagues and been able to highlight my skills and abilities as a Service Ambassador at United Airlines in Chicago (ORD).
7 Min Read

My USA Games Experience

My time at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games was a magical and impactful experience. My role as a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger (SSIGM) was as an honored guest. During my time at USA Games in Orlando, Florida, I had an audible part in the Opening Ceremony, co-led an introduction to Unified Leadership training, and had fun at Disney’s Animal and Magic Kingdoms, just to name a few of my most memorable USA Games moments.
4 Min Read

Athlete Preparedness

Preparing for a big competition takes both mental and physical exercise. This month, I’ll share with you how I prepare for state competitions and my advice on overcoming any nerves. Personally, I’ve only competed at regional and state competitions for Special Olympics Illinois. You can apply the tips I share to national or world games competitions.
2 Min Read

Karen Milligan Inspires and Supports Me

I first met Karen Milligan about fifteen years ago at beginner Special Olympics Athlete Leadership training. Even though Karen is smaller in stature than a lot of us attending, I noticed right away that she had a big personality. She was warm and friendly. It was clear that she really loved Special Olympics. For years now, I’ve had many experiences alongside Karen. Her personality and her actions make me feel a part of a larger family, the Special Olympics family.
3 Min Read

Lessons From 2021 Move Us Closer to An Inclusive 2022

Some people may be glad that 2021 is in the past and happily threw the December 2021 calendar page into the recycling bin. It was a year of extra challenges for everybody and divisiveness about how to meet these challenges. But all was not lost when it comes to the Inclusion Revolution movement.
2 Min Read

Athlete Leadership Prepares for Unified Employment

In over a decade of participation in Special Olympics, I’ve learned many athlete leadership skills that have helped me, and any athlete, move into an inclusive workplace. In today’s blog piece I will share with you five Special Olympics Athlete Leadership skills that have prepared me for my current employment at United Airlines, which includes: public speaking and interviews, getting outside of myself, having a global perspective, taking initiative, and valuing all members of a team.
5 Min Read

Daniel Smrokowski Celebrates the Global Week of Inclusion

During the week of July 15–20 as our Special Olympics movement celebrates a Global Week of Inclusion, I would like to share with you how I will be showcasing inclusion and “celebrate togetherness.”
3 Min Read

IDPD: Help advance inclusion every day

On a cool midsummer evening, I sat to the right of my mom just behind the mosh pit at the Northerly Island pavilion in Chicago during the 50th Anniversary Concert for Special Olympics.
7 Min Read

On To A Unified Future

In recognition of the International Day of Tolerance, we’re sharing this article written by Daniel Smrokowski, Special Olympics Illinois Athlete, for the Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Kick-Off Events.
3 Min Read