As one of only 12 Special Olympics athletes around the world, Virginia’s David Egan has been selected to serve as a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger for the next four years. International Global Messengers are Special Olympics athletes appointed as spokespersons to spread the message and vision of the movement, representing not only the organization as a whole, but also their individual countries. As leaders and message-bearers of the movement, International Global Messengers communicate the powerful declarations of hope, acceptance, dignity and courage of Special Olympics athletes around the world.
David, who started out as a Special Olympics swimmer at age 8, is an eager advocate with many accomplishments, both on and off the field. In 2000, he was elected to represent the State of Virginia at the Global Athlete Congress in the Netherlands, and in 2010 at the Global Athlete Congress in Morocco. He has been involved in community outreach since 1999, when he volunteered at the Special Olympics World Games in Raleigh, North Carolina and in 2011 in Athens, Greece.
He serves on several boards to promote abilities and collaborate with other advocacy groups. He was first to be elected to serve on the national Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action (DSAIA) and the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia (DSANV). He is one of the National Down Syndrome Association Ambassadors (NDSS). David serves as a Global Messenger and a delegate on the advisory council of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors. He has served on the United States Athlete Leadership Program Committee, as well as Special Olympics Virginia’s Board of Directors, where he succeeded in putting forward a motion to have a person with disability hired on the staff.A Booz-Allen Hamilton staff employee in the Distribution Center since 1998, he also is a trail blazer in the competitive employment of people with intellectual disabilities.
Ten countries are represented in this year’s class: Austria, Botswana, Egypt, Indonesia, Korea, Macau, the Netherlands, Panama, Thailand, and the United States. From April 19 – April 26, the new class of International Global Messengers will meet for the first time at Special Olympics headquarters in Washington, D.C., for an in-depth training sponsored by Bank of America to gain the critical skills necessary to serve as global athlete leaders and spokespersons.
As an International Global Messenger, David will attend events in their respective regions and throughout the world, including the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, making speeches, presenting awards, and supporting the development of the athlete leadership strategy.
“Our Special Olympics athletes are the leaders of our movement, playing important and pivotal roles throughout Special Olympics, including Board Directors, spokespersons, coaches, officials and more,” said Janet Froetscher, Special Olympics CEO. “I am thrilled to welcome this new class of International Global Messengers and look forward to hosting them at our headquarters in April as they prepare for this important role for our movement.”
The first class of Special Olympics Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers was inducted in 1998 to mark the 30th anniversary of Special Olympics. Every four years, 12 athletes are selected to train through the Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers program. There have been a total of 84 International Global Messengers selected to date. Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers are nominated by Special Olympics regional staff and chosen by a leadership committee at Special Olympics headquarters, who review all applicants and determine final selections based on athletes’ leadership skills and interest in serving as spokespeople for the organization.