Special Olympics


Special Olympics: Love of fitness the driving factor behind one of Bozeman's own athletes

Amy DeBernardis
Posted at 3:22 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-17 17:40:23-04

BOZEMAN — The spirit of competition is at an all-time high for Bozeman’s own Amy DeBernardis.

As the Special Olympics Montana State Games are gearing up into the final stretch, get to know one of these Special Olympics athletes, who outside of the competition most enjoys working out and meeting new people.

“Special Olympics is such a special organization because it allows our athletes to get involved, it promotes inclusivity, it promotes competition," said DeBarnardis' coach, Jackson Bolstad. "A lot of these athletes don’t have the opportunity to compete, and so it gives them the opportunity to compete in events that their peers are competing in, but also to compete alongside their peers in unified events.”

This year, the games are being held in Bozeman. For DeBernardis and her teammates, it’s even more exciting this year because the games are in their backyard, and she’ll get to compete in front of her family.

“It’s very excited to have home field advantage. All I’ve heard the past three weeks is, 'What time do I compete, coach? My grandparents want to come watch. My parents, my coworkers want to come watch,'” Bolstad said. "It’s so exciting to have people to come and see that, see all the hard work we put in, and cheer them on as they run to the finish line, swim their last lap, compete in Bocce.”

DeBarnardis doesn’t just train with her team, which meets once a week, her love for fitness shows through her consistent workouts at Orange Theory in Bozeman.

“(I) also work out at Orange Theory fitness in Bozeman, where I work out six days ago," DeBernardis said. "I do a lot of circuit training. We do a circuit workout. We did eight blocks on and some body weights.”

Her love for a good workout can be seen at her practices, her positive attitude radiating no matter the challenge at hand.

“Amy definitely brings a lot of energy to the team, a lot of passion for the team, and a lot of hard work," Bolstad said. "You know she’s always that person that when everybody else is, kind of, 'Aw, we have to do push-ups?' She’s just getting down there, like, let’s go get some push-ups done. Which is so fun, and I think a lot of that really stems from the work that she does at Orange Theory and her love of fitness and her love of just being in shape.”