DETROIT - If you have been following my bowling coverage, you know that metro Detroit has been the center of the international sports world over the past week-and-a-half.
History was made here as the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) brought its World Series of Bowling back to Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park for the event’s tenth anniversary and, for the first time in PBA history, four consecutive championships were decided on four consecutive nights of live national TV.
We have seen incredible athletic performances accomplished under great physical and mental pressure – it’s been a smorgasbord of great sports entertainment.
We saw Dick Allen win a tough Cheetah Championship on Monday. We then saw Jason Belmonte win his twenty-first career title on Tuesday at the Chameleon Championship. Kris Prather then earned his first PBA title on Wednesday at the Scorpion Championship -- he’ll always come back to Detroit as a champion, and know that this is where it all started. And then on Thursday, Belmonte broke the all-time PBA record for major tournament wins when he won the PBA World Championship.
Based upon all of the social media photos I’ve seen of people with their favorite pro bowlers, I know that what I have long preached is true: professional bowlers are the most genuine, fan-friendly and approachable athletes of any sport. And based upon the sold-out crowds all week at Thunderbowl, I know that the official Bowling Capital of the World affirmed that status.
I’ve had the opportunity to not only interview this week’s champions, but also to profile some of the sport’s other greats. For this final article about WSOB X, I first want to share with you my interview with PBA Commissioner Tom Clark, who gushed about the importance of this event, about our own Thunderbowl Lanes, and about Detroit:
I also had the privilege of chatting with Randy Pedersen, PBA Hall of Famer and longtime color analyst. Randy loves coming here!
Finally, if you missed any of my previous articles, they’re worth taking a look at -- the interviews are truly special:
- World Series of Bowling returns to its roots at historic Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park
- World Series of Bowling X off to a huge start in Allen Park
- World Series of Bowling already a huge success in Allen Park
- World Series of Bowling profile: Woman who competes with men
- Belmonte breaks record for PBA major title championships in Allen Park
- Dick Allen wins PBA Cheetah Championship, Allen Park shines in international sports spotlight
- History is made: Belmonte wins 20th career title at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park
- It was meant to be: Kris Prather wins first title at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park
So now, the competitors and PBA staff are returning home. Life at Thunderbowl is quickly getting back to normal. We bowlers are getting back to our bowling leagues. And we bowling fans eagerly await the announcement of the tour’s return to Detroit. We put on a great show here, our fans here showed who’s number one, and the PBA knows it.
Until next time.
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