Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympic Aspirations

Me in my 90s, one-piece jumpsuit. Anyone remember those? Wish I didn't.

Okay, lately I've been helping a lot of souls leave this world and move on to the next. It is worthy work but can be tiring. Since the action seems to have slowed down a bit, I need a little change of pace. The Olympic games have given me that "grounded in the body" quality that I need to feel right now.

There was a time in my life when I aspired to become an Olympian. I wish I could say that I know what the quest for Olympic greatness feels like but, I can't. Before I could pursue my medal, I had to first help my sport become accepted into the games.

Way back in the mid-1980s and early 90s, there was a big push to get bowling accepted as a medal sport. We never got any nearer than being granted Exhibition Sport status. Exhibition sports are allowed to perform, for entertainment purposes only, in the games just prior the United States Olympic Committee, USOC, voting, for or against, acceptance on medal status eligibility in the games four years down the road. It is all very political and each sport needs people in high places on their side.

Bowling was voted down. Even though I don't bowl anymore, I still think it is a great game. To me, the best thing about it is that it can be played by most anyone. To the Saturday night beer and pizza crowd, it is a game. To the elite player, it is a game of physics and perfection. But in the end, I think that is exactly what led to the demise of the pursuit.

Although almost every country in the world bowls, it was hard for the powers that be to see it as a world class sport. But if you've ever competed in the upper echelons, you know that it is an extremely difficult and complicated game. One nano-error can cost you your 200 average and send you on a long, lonely ride home without a paycheck. Unlike many sports, in bowling, amateurs can make money without becoming a professional. If you be not perfect, you be penniless in your pursuit.

In the early 1990s, I had an opportunity to spend a week at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A chance of a lifetime I did not let pass. It was training for a tiered coaching program that was developed in preparation for Team USA Bowling. We attended conferences with Olympic sports psychologists, biomechanists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and professional bowlers and coaches. Good friends were made. Good times were had.

My friend, "T"

Even though we couldn't get bowling into the games, I am still proud to have been a part of that time in history. Just trying to get a sport accepted into the Olympics is an Olympic feat unto itself.

29 comments:

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Good old memories! :)

Love Is In The Air, Love Is In Nature

Nessa said...

I have very fond memories of family bowling. My father was a great bowler, winning many trophies. It's funny how we all love it, but it doesn't get much respect.

RnPB Chapter 012

jinksy said...

It's your very first sentence in this post that caught my attention...Are we talking physical, or spritual work here?

Brian Miller said...

bowling never realy caught on in our fam...we would camp together, and played par 3 golf with my dad...nice mems though...

Mrsupole said...

Wow, you sure do look good for being in your 90's. LOL

Oh how much I miss bowling. I have known bowlers who were in their 80's and still bowling. Beer and bowling, what more can one ask for. Bowling was the only sport I enjoyed watching on TV for years. But now I rarely see it anywhere. I guess since I no longer bowl I have lost interest. I usually watched for the pointers that they gave us. Not that it helped a lot. But over the years we sometimes made profits for that year. You are right about how one could make money. We had wanted it to be an Olympic sport and was disappointed when it did not become one. Oh well such is life.

God bless.

PS...I guess I can still bowl on the Wii. It is pretty fun and is free each week. If you haven't tried it, I would tell you to have a go.

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Wow, What an left field / odd chapter in your life!
One that sounds as though it shaped the you that is you. -J

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Wow, What an left field / odd chapter in your life!
One that sounds as though it shaped the you that is you. -J

TechnoBabe said...

You have had a busy time of it lately. Glad you struck out and brought the book of memories out and picked this one. Just having the confidence it took to associate yourself with the Olympics at all is a feat. You have had a varied past for sure! Bowling used to be a huge deal and you are right about the ones who were leaders in the sport. Oh, I remember the one piece jumpsuits! Not my friend when I was in a hurry to get to the ladies room! Good post. Have yourself some R & R (yes, rest and relaxation).

Dorraine said...

Ah, bowling. Good times out with family. I remember those, quite fondly. Although I'm not a great bowler, my mom bowled on a league and was quite good.

Akannie said...

LOL...Ronda! You closet athlete, you!!

Great post.

Have a blessed day.

Jill said...

Well, Ronda! I am thoroughly impressed with YOU and a tad indignant that bowling was NOT considered Olympic material!

I love to bowl. My kiddos have WII bowling and insist it is "just as good" as the real thing. IT IS NOT EVEN CLOSE!

Baino said...

I take it you mean 10 pin bowling? You're right of course, it's fun for the funster and quite complex if you're playing competitively. Lawn bowls is big here and now attracting a younger crowd. If they can have curling in the winter games and BMX in the summer, I don't see why bowling doesn't have wider appeal! Don't you love the jeans back then!

Ronda Laveen said...

Bhavesh: Yes, indeed.

Nessa: Did you used to go bowling with your father?

Jinksy: Sometimes both. But in this instance, it is a spiritual.

Brian: We camped too and the Wonder Hubby is quite a golfer. I think there are a few pictures of me golfing but it is not my A game. I do have a pretty good short game though.

Sherry: I'll have to check out the Wii. I would be lucky to shoot 125 today. Oh, well.


H-H: It does seem out of left field now but I grew up playing that sport so at that time, it was pretty right field. Right before I started consciously doing healing work.

TechnoBabe: I do know what you mean about getting out of those one-piece suits in a hurry for a potty stop. I did not happen. I blame that for the demise of the unitard.

Dorraine: It really was such a great family sport. We used to swarm the lanes and have such a great time. Mmm...bowling alley french fries. Ours made homemade home fries.

Akannie: I am a closet athlete. Well, a used to be closet athlete. But lately, I have been totally getting into Pilates. I have a long way to go, but what a kick-ass workout.

Jill: It would be fun to have a blogger bowling party some day. I haven't tried the Wii bowling yet, but I don't see how it could be the same at all. But it does look like it could be its own sport.

Baino: I am talking about 10 pins. That is mostly what you will find here. There are still some 9 pin and duck pin centers but very rare. I've never tried candle pins. Lawn bowling sounds pretty cool though. Here, with some of the Italian clubs, Bocci ball is quite big and they hold tournaments in the summer and spring.

JGH said...

Another new thing I didn't know about Ronda - how cool! I love to bowl, but am not that good at it.

When I was younger I was a synchronized swimmer and got a 4th place ribbon at the Jr. Olympics. I'm still pretty proud of it. I never manage to catch the synchro on TV, though.

otin said...

But they let curling in??? That is kind of silly if you ask me!

Ronda Laveen said...

JGH: I used to love synchronized swimming. My cousin was one when we were young and I so envied her.

Otin: Yep, curling trumps bowling.

DUTA said...

Me and sports are not on close terms, but I do like to watch others play and I greatly appreciate people that are involved in sports of any kind.

Kudos to you for being a gifted bowler! And you look terrific in the picture!

tattytiara said...

Wow cool! What a great experience. I can't see why bowling isn't an Olympic sport. Seems comparable to a lot of other things that are.

KB said...

Very unexpected. Loved it.

Dave King said...

I've never understood the criteria that make one sport a medal sport and another not. Interesting post.

Alice Audrey said...

I actually longed for a one-piece jumpsuit back in the day. It was peach colored and priced at over $100. But it made me look goooooood.

Ronda Laveen said...

DUTA: Oh, I bet I could get you bowling straight away.

Tattytiara: Yes, there are other sports that aren't as exciting as skiing that get in the games.

KB: Thanks.

Dave: It was an interesting experience.

Alice: I'll bet you were HOT in that peach jumpsuit! Any pictures?

Mama Zen said...

But, curling is an Olympic sport! Weird, huh?

Megan said...

You continue to amaze and delight me, Ronda!

Ronda Laveen said...

Mama Zen: Yep, curling and those butt ugly harlequin pants made it.

Megan: You ain't seen nothin' yet, grasshopper:-)

books,coffee,etc.... said...

Hi! Ronda,

What an interesting post about the Olympics and bowling.
Too bad that bowling isn't an Olympic sport yet...
...by the way, I have never bowled, but I can tell just from watching bowling on television...

(That is when I do watch television...Personally, I just use it (Television) as a portal for my DVDs and CDs)

...that there is a difficulty level when it comes to the sport of bowling.

Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Realliveman said...

Bowling needs to be in the Olympics!

Jai Joshi said...

How fascinating to read about this other side of you. I've never been an athlete myself, though I like to play sports, and am so impressed by your past as an aspiring Olympian. You rock, girl!

Jai

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