BOZEMAN — Bozeman’s Kaden Rosenstein was selected as a Montana representative for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games a few weeks ago. However, he’s not just a great athlete, he also has a big heart.
“He says the kindest things about people and sees the good in everyone, which just makes it all even better," said his coach Joey Hancock.
Rosenstein will compete in the swimming competitions, where he will take on other competitors in freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke.
“I try to swim as fast as I can,” said Rosenstein, a 2021 Bozeman High graduate.
Swimming since he was three and being a part of the Montana Special Olympics for seven years, Rosenstein has always wanted to partake in a big competition. He was in disbelief when he found out he was going to Orlando, Florida for the games. A big fan of Marvel movies, he's hoping to go to Disney World and Universal Studios.
“At first he didn’t really -- I don’t think he really believed it and then once he realized we were telling the truth and he was really going, he’s just been having that real true smile that he hides away sometimes," Hancock said. "I could tell it really meant a lot to him once he found out.”
Last week he hit the pool for the first time to prepare for the 2022 games and Rosenstein swims pretty fast in practice, but once the lights shine bright, he kicks into a whole different gear.
“He takes it next level once we get to competition," said Hancock. "He sees the people, he sees the fans around watching. He knows people are cheering for him and every time we go to competition his scores just improve so much because he’s just pumped up by all of it. He wants to do so well.”
On day one, Rosenstein attacked the pool in preparation for 2022 and with almost a whole year to practice, the sky’s the limit.
“Between now and next June, I anticipate he’s just going to be faster and faster as he works harder and harder,” Hancock said.
Hancock has coached Rosenstein all seven years and watching him develop has been a treat.
“It’s been incredible to see him," he said. "He’s always been strong and fit. He just has one of the kindest hearts. He loves meeting new people, making new friends.”
Rosenstein will be headed to a higher division after this year and his time with Hancock will come to a close, but not without one last hurrah at the 2022 games.
“It’s something that will last," Hancock said of their friendship. "Even though he won’t be on the team he’ll be moving onto the young adult team, we’re still going to be close, we’re still going to see each other at competitions. We’ll stay in touch and get to see each other a lot still.”
The young Bozeman star doesn’t say too much, but he loves spending time with other athletes.
“Meeting new people," Rosenstein said about his favorite part of the games. "A lot of backstories.”
Those people mean so much to him and so do the games. Rosenstein has said that if he ever gets rich he would give half of his money to the Special Olympics because he knows how much it has done for him and how much it means to everyone else involved.
“He’s a man of few words and even though he talks a lot more than he ever used too, it’s those little comments like that he saves for just the right moment that choke you up, bring you to tears when you hear them. He’s just got that heart,” Hancock said.