Tenpin Bowling Australia (TBA) Hall of Famer Carol Gianotti has been a trailblazer for women’s tenpin bowling.
With an international bowling career spanning three decades, Gianotti has done it all.
From winning 16 Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour titles, including two majors, and 16 victories in Australia’s top tournaments to an unforgettable experience representing Australia at Seoul 1988, the first and only time, tenpin bowling has been included at the Olympics as a demonstration sport.
Gianotti said her achievements weren’t without hard work and her dedication to reach the highest level of the sport.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to have travelled the world and followed my dreams and made lifelong friends along the way,” she said. “I am just so grateful and honoured to have been recognised at the highest levels of the sport, something that I will always look back on like a dream come true.”
Born and raised in Perth, Gianotti comes from a tenpin bowling family. Her mum and dad represented Australia and Western Australia while siblings Robyn and Mark also had distinguished bowling careers.
Starting her bowling at the age of 10, at AMF Morley which was built right next to her home, it didn’t take long for Gianotti to hone her skills, as she went on to make her first WA President’s Shield team at 11 before going on to represent Western Australia at 14-years-old in their Rachuig team.
A year after winning the Junior Australian Masters, she represented Australia for the first time after being selected in the 1985 Asian Youth Championships. Gianotti would go on to win one gold and three silver medals at the tournament.
She continued winning on the international stage with more gold in the team’s event at the 1986 Asian Adult Championship and again in 1988 in the Masters event.
Being able to pull on the green and gold to represent Australia always holds a special place in the West Australian’s heart.
“To wear the Australian colours and know you are representing the whole of Australia gave me pride and enjoyment to compete at my best,” Gianotti said.
Gianotti is credited with paving the way for more women from around the world to join the Ladies Professional Tour.
Having packed her bags to compete against the best female bowlers in the world, she arrived in the United States as a 21-year-old. Barely a year into her professional career, she secured her first title, a major nonetheless, at the 1989 USBC Queens.
For Gianotti, seeing the growth of the Tour from being very American centric to more women from across the globe joining the professional ranks was great.
“It was great to see so many more women from around the world and some fellow Australian athletes as well, to come over and join me and follow their dreams to compete at the highest level,” she said.
“It was very rewarding for me to help and support them in any way I could and know that they were very thankful for showing them the way.”
Her prowess on the lane didn’t go unnoticed when in 2020 she was named as one of three inductees into the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) – the first Australian women to be awarded this recognition.
To this day, Gianotti is never far from the bowling alley and continues to manage the Western Australian venue of ZONE BOWLING Joondalup, a role she has been in since 2005.
And her love of bowling has never faded away.
“I just love the sport of bowling, the competitiveness, meeting so many different people around the world that have the same passion as I do and watching people live their dreams and being successful.”