Get ready for a Fantastic Voyage at the 17th World Maccabiah Games. Follow all the action through the eyes of an athlete (that would be me) and learn more than you ever wanted to know about bowling (please, control your enthusiasm, you're embarrassing yourself). Fasten that seatbelt and make sure your tray table and seatback are in the locked and upright position -- this is going to be one crazy time!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Masters, Day One

As if bowling for days on end wasn't enough, I was one of the "lucky" ones to make it to the Masters, a head-to-head competition that takes place on the last two days of the Bowling event. Coming into the Games, my goal was to just make the Masters, and I'm so happy to have the chance to vie for this prestigious title. Unfortunately, we are all tired, a little banged up (my hands are not a pretty sight right now), and the signs of an amazing exhausting trip are really starting to show.

The Masters is a simple concept: everyone bowls each of the other 15 bowlers in a one game, head-to-head match. None of the pins from the previous four days are carried over, so all the bowlers start at the same place. It's important to win matches, since every win is 10 extra pins into the bowlers overall total. At the same time, it's important to bowl well so that you have a high total pinfall with or without the wins.

Overall, I bowled pretty well. I went won three of my eight matches and have a combined total pinfall of 1600. My first match, I lost by a pin, so you can see hot the games are very close and each pin really does make a difference. I finished the day in seventh place, 56 pins behind third place.

Third place is the magic position because the top three bowlers after the 15 games bowl a stepladder format (third versus second, the winner versus first place) to determine the medal winners. As happy as I am to have won the all-events title, I'd love a shot at another medal by making it to the stepladder finals.

The other highlight of the day was receiving the gold medal for the all-events title. I don't have the pictures to put up yet, but I will do it very soon. There are no words to describe the feeling of stepping onto the podium, hearing your name called as a gold medalist, and feeling that ribbon around your neck. After each of the presentations, we all sang Hatikvah, the national anthem of Israel. That song has never sounded so sweet, and the view from that podium step, watching all the faces on all the people at the bowling center, is something that I will never erase from my mind. As soon as I can, I'll put up pictures so everyone can share the special moment with me.

Lastly, I just want to thank Fran, Lindsey, and Michelle for hanging out with me while I bowled today. They had all bowled their own eight-game block as part of the Women's Masters competition (Michelle is in second, Lindsey ninth, and Fran 13th) and still supported me through my eight games. I'll be there to cheer them on tomorrow -- I slept in this morning (with their blessing) and they will be doing the same tomorrow morning while I bowl, but Gayle and Meryl will be along for the fun.

I hope to have good news to share after the Masters. Tomorrow night, we also have a big bash for all the bowlers at the hotel pool, which will be a very fun time.

I can't believe that this Israel experience is almost over. More to come ... I'm going back to savor a few moments of Israel. L'hitraot.


Blogger Paulette3028 said...

It has been quite a few years since I watched you bowl last, but I can visualize it easily. I can also visualize you standing on the podium receiving your medal, by remembering a similar event in July of 1990. The place is different, the circumstance is different, but the vision is the same.

Regardless of what you do tomorrow, you will have bowled from the first day to the last of the competition. Along the way you have picked up a Gold Medal.

I can safely say that on the flight home you will NOT have 'a puss on your face' but rather be feeling like your gliding home on a magic carpet.

An 'electronic' hug from Mom and Dad.

10:49 PM


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