The year was 1989 and a 21-year-old Australian in Carol Gianotti would make history claiming the coveted Queens Tiara at the USBC Queens tournament at Capital Lanes, Bismarck, North Dakota.
A pioneer in the sport, Gianotti’s victory at the prestigious tournament placed Australia on the map in the ladies American bowling circuit. Her victory would pave the way for other Aussie females to give the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) tour a ‘crack’.
“Carol paved the way not only for other Australians to join the professional tour but for women from all over the world” explained TBA CEO Cara Honeychuch. “When you see women competing today from all corners of the globe in tournaments such as the US Open or Queens that years ago were largely contested by Americans, Carol can take much of the credit for this.”
The Queens is considered a major championship and part of the PWBA schedule.
The USBC Queens event showcases the top female bowlers from around the world. A champion list that stretches back to 1961. Gianotti would achieve a total of six top 10 finishes with three fourth placings (1992, 1997, and 2008). A clear example of a bowler who was at the top of her game for a long stretch of time.
The championship match saw Gianotti placed against the top ranked Sandra Jo Shiery who went on to win 10 titles as a pro. The victory would be Giannotti’s first of many.
When her career concluded, her resume boasted an extraordinary 16 PWBA titles to her name. Yet, Gianotti would always speak of how much Queens meant to her and how it catapulted her into further success.
“Every title meant a lot to me, but I will never forget winning that first major” said Gianotti. “From there I knew I could compete with the best and hopefully become one of the best one day”.
An already dual hall of famer with being an inductee in the Tenpin Bowling Australia Hall of Fame (2016) and the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame (2011), 2020 was set to complete a treble. In February the USBC announced that she would be one of three inductees into the PWBA Hall of Fame.
Today would have been the day Gianotti would have been inducted into that third hall of fame. The ceremony was to coincide with the 2020 Queens event in Las Vegas. As with a lot of the world, the event has been postponed due to COVID-19.
“I have been thinking about it all week. I should have been in the states for my induction. A night that I will never forget! Hopefully next year and I will be looking forward to it just as much”.
USBC Historian Jim Goodwin said it best of the 1989 victory – “If you are one of those who loves professional athletes who are delightful to watch and don’t take themselves too seriously, Carol Gianotti is your cup of tea. You will love what she says during the presentation of the awards after winning her first title”.
TBA would like to thank the USBC for providing this footage of our champion.