GREAT FALLS — Twenty years ago, Mitch Bohn served as the Montana East-West Shrine game patient ambassador in Great Falls.
“So I was the Shrine Boy at that time. I was four or five or six. I can't remember exactly,” Bohn said this week. “I was young and the game was here. It was kind of the same atmosphere, just great atmosphere.”
And today, Mitch Bohn is back in Great Falls in a different capacity, interviewing patient ambassadors at the 2022 game. It’s a full circle moment for the Billings resident.
“Twenty years later, it's fun to get this opportunity to come back and interview players and the ambassador kids and just great,” he said. “I love to give back to the Shriners anyway I can.”
Mitch is at the game as a media member, interviewing players and coaches and more for his podcast, Wide Left Sports.
“So we started it in October, really out of COVID boredom, to be honest,” he said. “My friend and I started it and it started at us just talking about sports. We both love sports. Then I interviewed an author from Arizona and realized we could do interviews and it blossomed from there.
Over the last 8 months, he’s produced dozens of episodes interviewing well-known Montana sports figures.
“So I've had coach Mike Van Diest, I've had Casey Fitz Simmons on, he was a really good interview,” Bohn said. “I’ve had Ryan Divish, the beat writer for the Seattle Mariners. I've had thei broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners, Dave Sims. Ryan Leaf who hopefully will come on at some point.”
But this week’s interviews are special. Mitch was born with Spina Bifida, and he spent much of his childhood at the Shriner’s Hospital in Spokane.
“They were helping me with leg braces, so I'd be able to walk,” Bohn said. “And they got me into physical therapy and got me into leg braces and gave me the ability to walk into leg braces and walker, which for kids would spina bifida. Isn't always the option. So it's great that they were able to do that for me and I am forever in debt to them.”
The care he received allowed him to thrive, and he’s channeling his love of sports and the Shrine game into this new venture.
“You know, my pitch is Montana sports kind of gets left in the dust,” Bohn said. “And so I really wanna highlight people from Montana that have done huge things in sports and just kind of give us more of a name than what we have.”
You can listen to Wide Left Sports here.