GARY WOODLAND SURPRISES SOAZ athlete AMY BOCKERSTETTE WITH VIDEO ANNOUNCEMENT FOR 2022 USA GAMES

AMY WILL REPRESENT SPECIAL OLYMPICS ARIZONA IN GOLF, WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE AT ORANGE COUNTY NATIONAL GOLF CENTER in orlando

Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ) athlete Amy Bockerstette received a surprise announcement from friend and PGA TOUR golfer Gary Woodland via video, as Woodland informed Amy that she was selected to represent Special Olympics Arizona at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Fla., June 5-12.

Amy will be competing in golf alongside more than 200 Special Olympics athletes from across the country at Orange County National Golf Center.

“Millions of people have been inspired by your positive attitude and the positive energy you share with everyone,” Woodland said in the video. “I am honored to let you know that you have been selected by Special Olympics Arizona to compete in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida. Not only do you get to represent the great state of Arizona, but you will get to experience the most magical place on earth – Disney.”

Currently a member of the Paradise Valley Community College women’s golf team, Bockerstette became a national success story after her surprise encounter with Woodland during the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Bockerstette was selected to play the 16th hole with Woodland during a practice round, and she wowed the crowd by getting up and down from a greenside bunker to make par on the famed 16th hole.

The video of her 16th hole story went viral, and soon after Bockerstette and her family founded the “I Got This” Foundation.

Woodland and Bockerstette have been friends and supporters of each other ever since, and got the chance to reunite the following year in Scottsdale at the 2020 WM Phoenix Open.

“We are so happy for Amy and can’t wait to cheer her on in Orlando along with the rest of the athletes representing Arizona at the USA Games,” said Jamie Heckerman, President and CEO of Special Olympics Arizona. “Gary has been such a big part of Amy’s life since they first met in 2019, it was only fitting for him to surprise her with this great news.”

The purpose of Special Olympics Arizona is to empower children and adults with intellectual disabilities to live healthy, fulfilling and meaningful lives. This vision of acceptance and inclusion is realized through health, leadership, and advocacy programs, as well as providing year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving more opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

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