Local bowlers strike gold in Kamloops

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by CASSIDY DANKOCHIK

While team success didn’t come for local bowlers at the Canada 55+ Games this year, two local members of team Manitoba walked away with individual medals.

Mike Baziuk won the gold medal for the 85+ age group, and Shirley Chubey won the bronze medal for 65+. Other bowlers who made the trip to Kamloops for the 2022 games included Doug Graham, Taras Chubey and Bruce Taggart.

Baziuk, who captained the team made up of all southeastern Mantioba bowlers, said a couple rough early games doomed the team’s shot at the podium. While the individual winners were determined based on raw pin total, the team competition’s results were based off of pins over average.

“I was quite consistent,” Baziuk said.

“I had no big game, but I ended up four pins over my average for the tournament.”

Individual and team scores were calculated based off the same games, with teams playing six rounds, as opposed to previous years where bowlers were kept busy playing nine rounds over a few days.

“If you don’t start good, it’s harder to recover,” Baziuk said, noting he preferred to play more games.

“If I go that far, I want to have as many games as I can.”

It was a memorable trip beyond winning on the lanes for Baziuk, as he was able to serve as one of Team Manitoba’s flag-bearers during the opening ceremonies, and was interviewed by local news in Kamloops.

“I was really singled out for some reason,” Baziuk said, laughing.

“Maybe it’s because of my age.”

The 2024 Canada 55+ Games are set to be hosted in Quebec, with Baziuk saying he’s planning on attempting to defend his gold medal.

Bowling leagues in Steinbach, which Baziuk helps organize, are set to begin this week, with youth bowling beginning later this month.

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