BOZEMAN — Often before the sun comes up, you’ll find Bozeman's Kaden Rosenstein swimming laps at the Bozeman Swim Center.
“We leave at 10 to six in the morning, and he reminds me — he wakes me up early at 5:15 — saying it’s time to go, mom!" Rosenstein's mother Andrea said with a laugh.
It’s an early morning schedule Rosenstein has been following for almost a year now since finding out he’ll be representing the Treasure State at this year’s USA Games being held in Orlando, Florida.
“At first I was in shock," Kaden Rosenstein explained. "Then, when I settled down, it became more like I’m going to go!”
But the journey to Orlando hasn’t come without its trials first starting as a newborn. By the age of three, Rosenstein had already been in six different foster homes, but in February 2005, he found his forever family.
“He’s been through a lot in life," Rosenstein's mother stated. "He had a very hard start, and he’s optimistic. He knows how to enjoy life. He knows how to believe in people.”
While his joy for life has always been present, it wasn’t until Rosenstein started swimming that a new profound happiness could be seen beaming anytime he was in the water.
Now at the age of 20, his confidence and enthusiasm have only grown, mainly thanks to his new coach Hans Dersch.
Dersch is the current head coach of the Bozeman Barracudas and also an Olympic gold medalist from the 1992 Barcelona Games. The two have been working together since this past fall after a simple call for help turned into weekly training.
“I walked up to the only coaches I could see here, and I said, 'Excuse me, but can you help me? Can you help me coach my son?' Rosenstein's mother recalled. "Hans said sure I can, so he started coaching Kaden, and then I found out later he’s an Olympic gold medal winner.”
“As an athlete, Kaden is very confident," Dersch smiled. "He’s got four legal strokes now. His times - he’s down to a 39 on his 50. I mean, massive, massive time drops. He learns very quickly and puts things together really fast. He’s the kind of swimmer any coach would be happy to have on their team.”
Not many Special Olympics athletes can say they have a former Olympian training them, which is why Rosenstein made sure to ask his coach what the recipe is for winning gold.
“To practice hard," Rosenstein shared. "Swim hard.”
“Kaden just admires [Hans Dersch] to no end," Rosenstein's mother smiled. "Kaden has told everyone he’s my Hans-solo. He’s my hero.”
Rosenstein will travel to Orlando, Florida next month for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, which kicks off on June 5th.