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Live on TransWeb...1998 US Transplant Games

Bowling for Medals

Story by Tanya Good, photography by Tanya Good and Doug Armstrong, audio by Doug Armstrong

See also: More photos

See Bowling Results at


The bowling competition was located at Columbus Square Bowling Palace about 10 miles northeast of the Ohio State University Campus. The Bowling Palace consists of 64 lanes and each lane was set up with five bowlers. The lanes are open 24 hours a day.

Even though one may not think of bowling as an action-packed sport, the action at Columbus Square Bowling Palace might well have changed some minds today. The men started competition mid-morning with the women following in the afternoon.

There were athletes of all ages competing in the event and having a blast! Skill levels of the competitors varied from athletes who hadn't bowled in close to 20 years to ones that bowl a couple of times a week. The 64 lane bowling alley was packed with both athletes and spectators. There was cheering from the spectators and hi-five's among the team members (athletes where bowling on lanes with members from other transplant teams). Everyone was encouraging each other and just having a lot of fun!

 

Heart transplant recipient Riley Nelson of Team Utah competes in shot put -- I mean bowling --at the Columbus Bowling Palace.

In looking at the scoreboards one could see anything from gutters to strikes and anything inbetween.

Although it was fun watching the adults bowl, the real enjoyment was in watching the kids. The six and under group had bumpers placed in the gutters and the 7-16 age group bowled just like the adults. One could see balls being lofted and others that barely looked like they were going to make it to the end of the lanes (sometimes the adults found themselves in this situation too). But it didn't seem to matter just as long as the pins were falling.

 

John Hayes received a heart transplant on September 8, 1985 at Milwaukee County Hospital. He was described by the other competitors as a great inspiration to all transplant patients.

Edwin Mixtacki, a 51-year-old heart transplant patient of 3 years, bowled a 197. Edwin is an active bowler who bowls twice a week and bowled his first 300 game on April 28, 1998 (his wife's birthday).
AUDIO:
Listen to a description of the event, followed by an interview with Billy Rolfe, Team MoKan, who received a living-related kidney from his dad Bill in February 1996.
Nine-year-old kidney recipient Sharrod Williams of Team Philadelphia is an ace bowler!

Myron and Sue Lewis both competed in bowling, neither one of them having bowled in 20 years. Myron received a liver transplant on January 14, 1998 and his wife Sue received a lung transplant July 4, 1997 both were performed at Henry Ford Hospital.

 

Heart Recipient Jim Gleason, from Team Philadelphia, made a new friend at the Games, Rob Dockery, a donor son from Blairsville, Georgia.

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Last modified: 11 May 2000