Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) Hall of Fame member Carol Gianotti has been celebrated during the 2023 Professional Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame after being inducted in 2020.
Along with three other inductees, Cheryl Daniels, Mary Bundrick, and Paula Carter, Gianotti was celebrated during the induction ceremony at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, USA.
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside so many great bowlers is very special and achieving the highest level in our sport is a dream come true,” explained Gianotti. “I have been waiting over three years after being inducted in 2020 and it was a very special night and I feel very honoured.”
Known as a pioneer for women in the sport in Australia, Carol’s bowling career was marked by numerous achievements. She won her first professional title, the 1989 USBC Queens, at the age of 21, making her the first Australian to win a PWBA major championship. Over the course of her career, she accumulated a total of 16 PWBA titles, including two major championships. In 1998, she was named the PWBA Player of the Year and received several other awards recognizing her outstanding performance.
What made Carol’s career truly remarkable was not just her accomplishments on the lanes but also the relationships she built and the impact she had on others. She cherished the connections she made with fans, friends, and fellow bowlers during her travels. Meeting passionate fans and inspiring them with her performances brought her great joy. She believed in the power of sports to unite people and was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the bowling community.
“It was great to celebrate and have a chance to thank the people who helped me along the way as you cannot do this all by yourself,” said Gianotti. “To also have the opportunity to catch up with so many friends and share memories made it extra special”.
Carol’s induction into the PWBA Hall of Fame was the culmination of a decade of recognition from major bowling bodies around the world. She had already been inducted into the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 2011, becoming the first Australian to receive that honour. In 2016, she entered the Tenpin Bowling Australia Hall of Fame, further solidifying her place in bowling history.
Reflecting on her career, Carol felt grateful and honored to be recognized with such a prestigious honor. She believed that being inducted into the Hall of Fame was the highest achievement she could reach as a professional bowler. While she treasured her titles and individual awards, what meant the most to her were the friendships, laughter, and camaraderie she experienced throughout her journey.
“My experience with the PWBA tour was wonderful – All I wanted to do was to compete at the highest level and the PWBA gave me that opportunity to do that. The ladies on tour really welcomed me and gave the support I needed, I felt like part of the family out there”.
Carol Gianotti’s impact on the sport extended beyond her own success. She played a pivotal role in inspiring other Australian bowlers to pursue their dreams on the PWBA tour, encouraging them to believe in their abilities and providing a pathway for their success. One of those inspired was previous TBA CEO and PWBA superstar Cara Honeychurch.
“Carol paved the way not only for other Australians to join the professional tour but for women from all over the world. 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,” explained Honeychurch.
“I certainly wouldn’t have ventured to the PWBA if it weren’t for Carol and I will forever be grateful for the encouragement she gave me and many others to dare to dream. Australian bowling will forever be indebted to Carol Gianotti for the pathways that she has created for the bowlers of today and the future,” Honeychurch said.
Gianotti continues to have an impact on the young talent coming through the Australian pathways. Her time is spent as the manager of Zone Bowling Joondalup in her hometown of Western Australia.
“I’m still involved because I love the sport!” answered Gianotti. “The ability to meet so many different people that have the same passion and pass on what I have learned – I would like to see other bowlers get the same opportunities that I was given and worked hard at to achieve,” explained Gianotti.
“I have always said I have been very fortunate to get the opportunity to do what I love to do and that is to compete, be successful, and to meet so many great people along the way”.