Former astronaut, Gaby Gifford's husband Mark Kelly to speak at Bowl Expo By Mark Miller

    01/26/12

    Column

    Republished courtesy of Examiner.com (Jan. 25, 2012)*

    2012IBEMarkKelly2.jpgMark Kelly, the commander of the final Space Shuttle mission and husband of retiring U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., will be the keynote speaker at the 2012 International Bowling Expo in Reno, Nev.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

    Kelly, who piloted Space Shuttle Endeavor last year, will speak the morning of June 27 at the Silver Legacy Resort. He recently retired from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and from the Navy as a captain and is helping his wife recuperate after being shot in the head in an assassination attempt in January 2011.

    Giffords and Kelly are finishing her memoir titled Gaby that is to be released in November.

    "Captain Kelly is an American hero who inspires others to be their best while remaining true to their core values," said Bowling Proprietors' Association of America Executive Director Steve Johnson.

    "He exemplifies leadership, the importance of teamwork and courage under pressure - all applicable to business owners in today's world. He is a role model for all who have aspirations and dreams."

    Kelly is an experienced naval aviator who flew combat missions during the Gulf War and has been decorated with the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was selected as an astronaut in 1966.

    He flew the first of his four missions in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same shuttle he commanded on its final flight in May 2011. He also led the mission team aboard the shuttle Discovery and is only one of two individuals who have visited the International Space Station on four different occasions.

    "Bowling and flying in space share some similarities," Kelly said. "Whether it is throwing a bowling ball down a lane or flying a spacecraft to a touchdown on a runway, there is an enormous amount of concentration involved. Neither are easy. I'm looking forward to speaking to the bowling industry and getting some tips on how to keep it out of the gutter."