Tenpin bowling was an official demonstration sport at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. It was also very close to being part of the Olympics in 1936, when an international tournament was held in Berlin, Germany around the same time as the Olympics. In 1992 and 1996, there have been bowling alleys at the Olympic village.
1936 Berlin, Germany
There was an International Bowling Association World Championships Tournament, held at Welt-Kegler Turnier in Berlin, Germany, in the week prior to the Olympic Games, though it was not a sanctioned Olympic Games event. The tournament was dominated by US bowler Hank Marino: he took the All Events Title, while his team the Milwaukee Heils (including Ned Day and Charley Daw) won the team title. Karl Goldhammer of Germany won the tenpin singles. Other forms of bowling were included. (ref: Historical Dictionary of Bowling By John Grasso, Eric R. Hartman). The tournament attracted 5000 bowlers from 14 countries, and was a great success. However, the aim of having the sport included in the 1940 Olympics was scuttled due to the outbreak of war (ref: The Bowling Chronicles: Collected Writings of Dr. Jake By J.R. Schmidt).
1988 Seoul, South Korea
A total of 20 nations competed in the tenpin bowling exhibition, which was held on September 18 at Seoul’s Royal Bowling Center. The tournament was restricted to amatuer bowlers, who qualified in a pre-Olympic tournament. Countries were limited to one male and female competitor. A total of 20 coutries were represented.
- Kwon Jong Yul, South Korea (KOR)
- Jack Wong Loke Chin, Singapore (SIN)
- Tapani Peltola, Finland (FIN)
- Arianne Cerdena, Philippines (PHI)
- Atsuko Asai, Japan (JPN)
- Annikki Maattola, Finland (FIN)
- Tenpin bowling has never been part of the Paralympics either (which tend to follow the Olympic sports), though bowling has been an event in the Special Olympics since 1975.
- All about Olympic Demonstration Sports
- Bowling at the Olympic Games
- About the sport of Bowling
- Bowling at the Commonwealth Games