2018 Dennis Schmidt Impact Award

by | Nov 9, 2018 | Featured Athletes

The Spirit of Special Olympics Indiana Awards are presented annually at our State Conference, recognizing the athletes, coaches, volunteers, families, and LETR officers who have gone above and beyond in their contributions and commitment to the Special Olympics movement over the course of the past year or more. Nominations for each category are submitted by our Area Management Teams before Area winners are selected, and from that list, Special Olympics Indiana’s Board of Directors chooses the state award winners each year.

Special Olympics Indiana is pleased to announce that Brian Glick, from Tippecanoe County, has earned our 2018 ‘Dennis Schmidt’ Impact Award!

Since 2004, the President & CEO of Special Olympics Indiana has had the honor each year of naming one individual who exemplifies the “Spirit of Special Olympics” but who oftentimes goes unnoticed, someone who places the athletes above him or herself and who helps us to grow and improve our great program.

We honor this individual with the ‘Dennis Schmidt’ Impact Award, named after Special Olympics Indiana’s first President. Dennis was quite a character, and with his unique blend of professionalism and humor, he took over a fledgling state program in 1969 and transformed it into the organization that we know and love today. Past recipients of the award include board members, volunteers, and a variety of supporters.

Brian Glick is no different than the others who have been honored for their impactful contributions, with one notable distinction: his entire life, he’s been labeled. Labeled with terms such as “special education,” “intellectual disability,” “slow,” and even the hated “R-word.”

But through Special Olympics, Brian found a whole community of people who believed in him. And he’s returned the favor by believing in us — committing his entire life to furthering the Special Olympics movement through Athlete Leadership. He’s been a dedicated athlete for more than 30 years, but his commitment goes so much deeper than weekly practices and competitions.

  • In addition to year-round sports, he has served as a coach and a member of both his Area and County Management Teams.
  • In 1998, he attended the first Athlete Leadership training in Indiana, hosted by the famous Billy Quick of Special Olympics North Carolina. From there, he created the very first Area Athlete Input Council in our state.
  • In 1999, Brian’s commitment to the movement went international as he traveled to Toronto to be a part of the first International Athlete Leadership Conference. Later that summer, he was invited to serve as a member of the evaluation team for the Special Olympics World Games in North Carolina.
  • In 2000, he was named chair for the first Global Athlete Congress in the Netherlands.
  • In 2001, he was part of an Athlete Leadership Task Force in New York, developing targeted initiatives and curricula for athlete trainings on governance, global messengers, athletes as coaches, the media, and athletes as officials. This work became the foundation for Special Olympics Indiana’s Athlete Leadership University.
  • In 2002, Brian visited Dublin, Ireland, where the task force worked to implement the “athletes as coaches” initiative. Later that year, he attended an Athlete Leadership conference in San Francisco, where he and fellow ALPs University leaders Brent Bowgren and Jan Griepenstroh developed an enhanced curriculum to include volunteer readiness, media interviewing, athletes as fundraisers, and PowerPoint for athlete leaders.
  • In 2003, he became an original member of Special Olympics Indiana’s Varsity Club, serving as an official ambassador for the organization.
  • In 2006, he completed all ALPs University courses, earning multiple degrees. With nothing left to do, he became an instructor and joined the ALPs Management Team.
  • From 2007 – 2013, Brian served on our Board of Directors, helping to shape the policies that continue to influence what the Special Olympics movement looks like in Indiana even today.
  • Since 2008, he has served on the Management Teams for Olympic Town at our annual Summer Games, and for the Plane Pull Challenge held each August.
  • And in 2018, he has developed and submitted a proposal to change Special Olympics Indiana’s by-laws to require the inclusion of an Athlete Input Council, helping to ensure that athletes will forever have a voice in our organization.

Brian’s accomplishments are exceeded only by his enthusiasm and commitment to the Special Olympics movement, but it’s his caring nature and humility that make him a role model worth looking up to. He loves coaching and he’s passionate about his belief in giving athletes a voice, and his vision has resulted in a better Special Olympics program in Tippecanoe County, Area 4, the state of Indiana, the United States of America, and across the world!

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