Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bowlers Keep Flame Burning in Olympics Bid

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bowlers Keep Flame Burning in Olympics Bid

Article excerpt

Imagine St. Louisan Pete Weber on the Olympic podium next year in Atlanta with a gold medal around his neck and the national anthem playing in the background.

Though time is running out on getting bowling approved as a medal sport for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the sport is moving closer to just such a scenario.

"We have not given up on Atlanta," said Joyce Deitch, president of the Women's International Bowling Congress. "There are still discussions going on with both the Atlanta Organizing Committee and the (International Olympic Committee)."

Deitch's comments came at last month's national bowling convention in Reno, Nev. Representatives of the WIBC, American Bowling Congress, Bowling Proprietors Association and Brunswick met there to come up with a plan to achieve their goal.

"We decided we needed to found a more effective worldwide campaign," Deitch said. "We need to reach the individual IOC members who will ultimately decide whether bowling becomes a medal sport."

Tennis was given medal status at the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea, after a 64-year absence. So, it is possible to make the jump from exhibition sport.

"This is not going to be an overnight success. It's a long-range plan, and we are committed to that," Deitch said.

After Atlanta, the next Summer Games will be in Sydney, Australia, in the year 2000. Seeing the sport's top stars competing for medals there seems a likely possibility.

"There already is a campaign mounted with the Sydney Organizing Committee, which we are, of course, supporting," Deitch said.

The first Greater St. Louis Match Play Championship will be held May 10-14 at Crestwood Bowl.

The event will raise funds for the Greater St. Louis Bowling Association Hall of Fame.

"We're hoping to get some of the top bowlers in the area," the association's Darryl Nitsch said. …

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