George Blevins bowled his first frame when he was 7 years old – and he says he hasn’t stopped bowling in the 93 years since.
The 100-year-old Richmond resident has a 151 average and plays about three times a week. A few years ago he switched from a 16-pound ball to a 12-pound ball so he doesn’t get as tired.
“It only helps,” he told the Connersville News-Examiner for a Thursday story.
Blevins has won the past two national Senior Olympics singles tournaments for the over-75 group. Wednesday, he played in the 33rd Annual Indiana State Seniors Singles Bowling Tournament in Connersville.
“He’s quite a bowler for any age,” said Plaza Lanes proprietor Mike Vanover. “He certainly doesn’t look his age.”
Blevins bowled his first game in a hotel basement in his hometown of Monticello, Ky. He was a regular on the Lafayette lanes while earning a bachelors degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University. And as he worked a special assignment engineer for International Harvester, he was able to bowl throughout Indiana before returning to Richmond.
Things have changed since Blevins’ first game. Instead of natural wood bowling lanes with challenging oil patterns, lanes today are made of synthetic flooring. Automatic scoring machines have replaced paper scorekeeping in many bowling alleys.
When he first drove to competitions, gas was about 15 cents per gallon, he said.
Instead of using the standard three-step approach, Blevins now uses more of a step-and-stoop form. He competes in five major senior tournaments a year statewide, and said he sees no reason to stop.
Blevins attributed his health to clean living and bowling.
“I try to not act too old,” he said.