BOZEMAN — At Bobcat Stadium on Tuesday, the Montana Special Olympics made a huge announcement: the next three Summer Games will be in Bozeman.
“Special Olympics uses sports as a platform to bring communities together," said Montana Special Olympics CEO Rhonda McCarty. "It is a wonderful thing to be a part of, it’s an amazing thing to watch. We like to say when we leave Bozeman it will be a more inclusive, stronger community.”
From May 12-14, 2021, 1,000 athletes will be in Bozeman competing in seven Olympic-type sports for the 51st State Summer Games.
“I’m very excited because my family here can see me play and do my sports and compete,” said Ruth Spinelli, who has accrued many medals in her time competing in the Games.
It's been quite sometime since the games were last hosted in Bozeman.
“We are thrilled to be coming to Bozeman, May of 2021 for a three-year stretch -- ‘21, ‘22, ‘23," said McCarty. "The last time we were in Bozeman was 2009, 2010, 2011, it’s been a long time. We couldn’t be more delighted than to be back.”
The games mean a lot to each and every person involved
“The mission of Special Olympics is really to build communities. When we bring the Games to a community, we see inclusion happening hands on," McCarty said. "It couldn’t be a better feeling.”
Special Olympics Montanan does need support, though, specifically volunteers who are willing to offer their time.
“I have a volunteer that’s 80 years old and we both skydive together and we just enjoy each other,” said Spinelli.
Without volunteers the Games would not be as successful as they are.
“What we need for the Games to be successful is for Bozeman to come out and there’s all kinds of way for folks to come out," said McCarty. "We will need volunteers, we will need day-of volunteers during the Games to help with the events. We need sponsors, so if your business would be interested in sponsoring, we would love to be hearing about that.”