World Tenpin Bowling Association holds its first WTBA / Special Olympics event


    WTBA News

    PBA stars Koivuniemi, Rash bowl two games with eight Nevada Special Olympic athletes

     In conjunction with the WTBA International Open at Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center in Las Vegas, Nev., the World Tenpin Bowling Association, tenpin bowling's governing body, held its first WTBA / Special Olympics event on Monday afternoon, Jan. 30.

    The photo shows the Special Olympic athletes with Sean Rash (left) and Mika Koivuniemi (right) Click on the images to enlarge.

    The event, which is part of the WTBA agreement with Special Olympics, featured PBA stars Mika Koivuniemi and Sean Rash and eight Nevada Special Olympic athletes.

     WTBA and FIQ President Kevin Dornberger emceed the event which was contested on lanes 25 and 26 (pictured right) at Strike Zone Bowling Center inside Sunset Station Hotel and Casino.

    The ten players were dived into two teams which bowled two Baker-games to determine the winner. Koivuniemi, a nine-time PBA champion and the PBA Player of the Year of the 2003-04 and 2010-11 seasons, was joined by Eric Gaisin, Nick McIntosh, Jessica Sexton and Dusty Maupin.

    Rash, a four-time PBA champion, who made record five consecutive TV finals in the 2011 PBA World Series of Bowling, bowled with KJ Frisina, Reginald Daniel, Ashlee Garrison and Cari Davis.

     KJ Frisina and Jessica Sexton were members of the U.S. Special Olympics bowling team that participated in the World Games, which were held in Athens, Greece, from June 21 - July 4, 2011, KJ won a silver medal in the doubles event.

    L-R Jessica Sexton and KJ Frisina.

    In Baker format, each player plays two frames per game. The lead-off player bowls the first and sixth frame, the second player the second and seventh frame and so on. The first game ended 141-119 in favor of Rash's team including an open frame in the tenth frame by each anchor bowler … Rash and Koivuniemi.

    Koivuniemi's team narrowed the gap to six pins but Rash sealed the victory - after irritating Koivuniemi on the approach - with three strikes, 269-226.

    The event ended with the PBA starts posing with the Special Olympic athletes for some souvenir photos. The athletes and the officials of both organizations were satisfied with the first event of its kind which was definitely not the last,