golfer amy bockerstette first athlete with down syndrome to compete in collegiate championship
Source: Amy Bockerstette/Instagram

Moving Mountains! Golfer Amy Bockerstette Is The First Athlete With Down Syndrome To Compete In A Collegiate Championship

May. 14 2021, Published 4:34 p.m. ET

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One for the books! Earlier this week, Phoenix's Paradise Valley Community College student Amy Bockerstette made history when she competed in the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship, making her the first person with Down syndrome to ever do so.

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Though the 22-year-old star's run in the tournament came to an abrupt end when weather conditions and time constraints caused the games to cut down the top 24 to just 15, she still had a ball and performed well, declaring that she and her teammates are "very proud" of what they accomplished.

"I thought taking pictures and selfies was kind of fun," the athlete told ESPN of fans coming up to her. "And we had a good time meeting everyone and taking pictures and selfies and autographs and having a good time."

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She also has a support system in her father, Joe, who acts as he caddie.

"Don't put limits on your child with a disability," he told TODAY. "They are far, far more capable than you can imagine."

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While Bockerstette first started golfing in eighth grade, she rose to fame in the late 2010s, especially after her encouraging mantra of "I got this" went viral. 

In fact, in 2019, it lead to her launching the I Got This Foundation, which "has a mission to promote golf instruction and playing opportunities for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities."

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"We strive to teach people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities to play golf, paving the way for them to compete in leagues with typical peers, join high school teams and even obtain athletic college scholarships," their website states. "Golf is a sport where everyone plays the same game on the same field. Our vision is that people with intellectual disabilities become included in those games."

The talented athlete is also a representative of the Special Olympics Arizona, and last year, she was appointed for a two-year term to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Sound like it's only up from here!

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