One of the highlights of this summer has been the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Everyone looks forward to the Olympics. The best athletes from around the world gather to compete. What a great honor that is, to be considered an Olympic athlete, one of the best in your sport. Each athlete spends countless hours training, practicing, and dedicating their efforts just for this moment. I think each and every one of us have had at least one dream or thought about being an Olympic athlete, I sure know I have.
But, than I sat and thought about it, the sport I play is not even included in the Olympics. Bowling. Not at all.
Now I know that my disappointment is not isolated. Since I have been a bowler for 15 years, I know quite a few people in the bowling community from around the area as well as from around the country. As I have scrolled through my social media accounts these last few weeks, I have seen countless tweets and posts from others in the bowling community expressing how they feel bowling should be an Olympic sport. And it should be!
So I sat there and thought about it, how isn’t bowling an Olympic sport?
Bowling is considered an emerging sport that continues to grow each year. There are already thousands of competitive bowlers nationwide, not to mention just for fun bowlers, but the numbers are rising all together. Some people do not believe bowling should be considered a sport but there are so many reasons for it to be considered a sport and here are a few reasons why.
Bowling is competitive. There are hundreds of tournaments around the world, both youth and adult. Many people I run into, who are not familiar with competitive bowling, are shocked when I tell them that there are tournaments and college scholarships. Bowling offers up so many opportunities for its athletes. Bowling is a physical game. Some people may just say that we simply walk up to the line and throw the ball but it is much more than that. From the way we walk, to the way we release the ball is all carefully executed. If you break down and analyze each bowlers approach and release, you can see that each person is different and it takes great precision to make a good shot. It is also physical because of the countless hours spent performing. People do no normally think that bowling would be a tiring sport, but ask any competitive bowler after a weekend of bowling how tired they really are. A bowler can bowl near 20, 30, or even 40 games in a weekend. Multiply that by 10 to 20 shots per game and that is a lot of physical activity, not to mention that a day at a tournament can easily be 8 to 10 hours. Bowling is a mental game. Bowling is not just physically draining, after 10+ hours a day at a tournament, but also mentally draining after such an extended period of time. Each shot you have to think about, each move you have to make you have to focus on. There are a variety of different oil patterns and each pattern requires the bowler to attack it differently. Choosing where you need to stand, what ball you need to throw, and much more. Thinking about absolutely every element of your game countlessly throughout the day.
Now my explanation does not do bowling justice, but it is just a simple breakdown. But my main message being, bowling is hard work. Bowling is just as hard as any other sport and should be given the recognition that it deserves.
Every athlete should have something to aspire to, every athlete should be striving to be the best of the best. We have some of the most talented bowlers here in the United States with such great skill. But not just here in the United States, there are so many talented bowlers worldwide. Bowling has so many different aspects to it, bowling is a sport. So, if you ask me, it’s a no brainer to say that bowling should be an Olympic sport and I happen to think the rest of the bowling community would agree with me too.