My dad was a professional bowler back in the 1960s. Don’t go looking for him in the history of the Professional Bowlers Association though. He was a house pro in a Nevada bowling alley and made his living bowling in tournaments and in pot games and in head-to-head matches.
I started bowling for fun when I was 4 and in leagues when I was 19. I won my first tournament that I entered when I was 21 – winning the title match 243-188 (that’s the ball I used that tournament over there) – and even tried for the Pro Tour. I found out at the Regional Tour level that while I was very good, I wasn’t good enough.
To this day I still bowl in leagues. In fact, this week marks the opening week of the season here in Nebraska and my team will try to build on its eighth-place finish – out of 26 teams – from last year. I averaged 189 last year, after having taken three years off from bowling to deal with back issues.
Now, in no universe whatsoever would I begin to make the claim that bowlers are elite athletes. So when I read this story U.S. Wins Gold After Peruvian Bowler Caught Doping At PanAm Games my initial reaction was this:
Doping? In bowling? Really?
I can think of no reason why you’d do this. It’s not like you will wear down so much physically that you can’t pick up and roll the ball without collapsing, no matter how many games you bowl per session. Hell, a good-sized Dr. Pepper and some chocolate and you’ve got enough of an energy boost to get through another game or two.
The bowler who did this should be shamed out of the sport. I feel sorry for his doubles partner, who just got stripped of his gold medal despite having done nothing wrong.
Doping? In bowling? Seriously?
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