Former U.S. Team Member Throws Historic Perfect Match at 2021 USBC Open
Former U.S. team member won historic 300 game June 1, 2021 United States Congress Open Bowling Championships. It was a first for its group of over 60 teams and the 900th perfect match in the tournament’s 117-year history.
It was also a special way to kick off Pride Month for Patterson and his fellow competitors, many of whom started their visit to Las Vegas this year with the International Gay Bowling Organization’s 2021 annual IGOO, before heading to at South Point for the USBC Open. Championships.
IGBO Annual is one of two national IGBO events and offers a week of meetings, celebrations and competitions. The events move each year to different candidate cities, and 2021 has provided the unique opportunity for a crossover of two tournaments.
“It’s very special to be a part of history and draw 300 in the history of the event,” Patterson said. “It’s a great stage of the game, and to come here and do it in front of your friends, in a great team and with people who support you, there really is nothing better than that.”
It was the support and guidance from his teammates in six doubles and singles games at South Point Bowling Center that helped Patterson complete his 21st Open Championship appearance with the highest streak of his tournament career.
The 45-year-old right-hander had games of 217, 212 and 300 for a total of 729, his best on the lane of the championship by eight pins.
“Jay (nephew) told me to change the ball, and I hesitated, but I did, and the pins just magically fell,” said Patterson, a 2005 US team member in 2007. “The shots weren’t that much better than the other five games. I wasn’t throwing the ball phenomenally, but I had a lot of breaks. If you look at the 10th and 11th shots, they probably wouldn’t. not had to wear, but it’s bowling, and I’m thankful they did. “
Bowling has been a part of Patterson’s life for three decades, and it’s an environment that has always given him satisfaction and support – as a newcomer, as an elite athlete with Team USA and now as a owner of Saber Lanes in Menasha. , Wisconsin, with her husband, Marcus.
In 2006, Patterson had the opportunity to represent the United States on the slopes and help the American team win their first team gold medal at the International Bowling Federation Men’s World Championships in 35 years. . There is an incredible sense of pride in that.
Being able to represent the gay community on the slopes and enjoying success at the open championships has also been an incredibly proud moment.
“I appreciate that it’s the first day of Pride Month and that it was on a gay team, and I haven’t really put that into perspective until now, but it’s really very special,” Patterson said. “From my experience in the gay community, in bowling, I can’t tell you how inclusive it has always been for me. As long as you’re going there and you’re passionate, having fun and enjoying yourself. try to succeed, you will be taken care of.
“I’ve always been drawn to the environments that have been beneficial to me, from the people to the coaching to the bowling center and all that. will separate based on your race, color, creed or sexual orientation.
Patterson added 660 team sets and 600 doubles this year for a total of 1,989 all events. His overall performance helped Shady Unicorns of Chula Vista, Calif., Achieve a team score of 3,189 and a total of 9,283 per team, both in the top 50 this year.
He was joined by Charlie Esteban (1,960), Neveu (1,840), Robert Raymond (1,777) and Timothy Yaeger (1,717).
Their team is one of 68 organized by Jim Costello, who started with four teams in 2009 and has doubled the size of the group on several occasions. Although many bowlers are gay, he describes it more as a bunch of gay-friendly friends and buddies who love to bowl and have a good time.
The contingent includes bowlers of all ages and skill levels, from the ultra-competitive Patterson quintet to bowling newbies. Fifty teams met at South Point Bowling Plaza and South Point Bowling Center this week, while the final 18 teams will hit the lanes in July.
Typically, the group plays in mid-April, but being able to shift the schedule to 2021 has allowed many competitors to experience both the open championships and the annual IGBO.
Costello encouraged bowlers to visit both tournaments and even took the opportunity to educate and recruit IGBO bowlers who may not have been familiar with open championships, as he does whenever he’s on. the lanes or in a bowling alley.
Ultimately, the longtime Captain’s Club member enjoys bowling and competing and enjoys doing work that may have kept team members from enjoying open championships earlier or more frequently.
Plus, seeing his bowlers have positive and memorable experiences is often the only reward Costello needs for his efforts, but being there for Patterson’s record-book run made his heart swell with emotion and pride.
“I know a few people in our group had the potential and skills to do a 300 or an 800 here, and I was actually pretty emotional because I knew it was going to happen, I just didn’t know which person “We got together so many times, and it was only a matter of time. The fact that this is such a historic event makes it even more special. I’m proud that we did.” And what a way to kick off the Pride Month. “
At times in his own life, Costello has faced stigma regarding gay men and women and their ability to play sports, be it bowling, softball, volleyball, or any other competition, but it is not. not something that held him back.
Pins don’t know if you’re male or female, gay or straight. Bowling is a game of strategy and skill, and it’s ready to compete whenever the lights on the lane come on.
“Bowling is a great social activity, and people love to bowling and compete, but sometimes there’s the stigma that it’s not something everyone can or do well, and we’ve all done it. face at some point, ”Costello said. “Every time I put my shoes on and the lanes light up, I will show you that I am a bowler and that I am ready to compete.”
As the open championship polls sometimes show, one of the main reasons bowlers don’t start competing sooner is that they just aren’t invited or are intimidated by the steps and the process. commitment required to be a team captain.
There is also the misconception that the tournament is only for elite players, and sometimes it has to be seen for the first time for bowlers to fully grasp the scale and diversity. With three divisions based on the average, bowlers of all skill levels have the chance to compete with their competitive peers.
“It’s really word of mouth, and I didn’t even know that until 15 or 16 years ago, when someone asked us to go,” said Costello, who made his 13th birthday. appearance at the Open Championships this week. “Sometimes all it takes is someone to organize it, and I love being that person. Some people don’t understand why I want to do all of this, but that’s because I love helping people have this experience. . There is nothing quite like seeing someone compete for the first time and then I want to stay. “
Both Costello and Patterson viewed the two-race week as a success, filled with opportunities to reunite after two years apart, as well as to compete on a variety of track conditions.
As they return home, Costello is already planning next year and his group’s return to South Point for the 2022 Open Championships.
In the short term, Pride Month will be filled with opportunities to celebrate, educate and support the LGBTQ community, and countless activities (parades, parties, picnics, workshops, memorials, concerts, etc. ) will be organized in communities across the country. .
The tradition began in 1970 as a way to commemorate the riots that took place in reaction to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969. The event was a turning point in the struggle for LGBTQ liberation in the States. -United.
This story about Patterson and Costello talks about their dedication and success at the Open Championships and is part of an ongoing digital media campaign recognizing the various groups, organizations and bowlers that make up the USBC members, while gaining attention on topics that affect the world on a larger scale.
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