Terri Fuda was noticeably one of only a handful of women veterans participating in the handle bowling division at the NVWG. Photo Audrey Nissen.
Bowlers of all abilities knocked down the pins Tuesday as the National Veterans Wheelchair Games
Fat Cats bowling alley in Salt Lake City was the epicenter for all the action during the bowling events at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG).
Family and friends cheered on the veterans and belted out the lyrics to “Sweet Caroline” when it started playing over the radio.
Paralyzed Veterans of America Gateway Chapter member Terri Fuda was noticeably one of only a handful of women veterans participating in the handle bowling division.
This is Fuda’s eighth Games, and she said her physical therapist motivated her to get involved in bowling.
“She [the therapist] and the volunteers were very encouraging,” Fuda said. “They found the right way for me to bowl … always use the second arrow to the right.”
Fuda said her mom, who attend the event with Fuda, taught her to bowl as a child. Fuda continued to bowl on military leagues when she joined the Air Force.
“I was never really good at sports, but bowling was the one sport I could do before my injury,” she said. “After my injury, they [therapists] said I could still do it from a chair, and I said, ‘If I can do it from a chair, then show me.”
Fuda said she’s happy to have something she can do with her family, something she doesn’t have to just sit back and watch.
“It’s a very challenging sport,” she said. “You have to know how to fix what’s wrong, and there’s a lot of strategy involved.”
Her game plan seemed to have a positive effect on her game play, as she earned her personal best score of 81.
When asked how she could improve, Fuda said, “I need to get out of my head, watch the arrows and don’t watch the pins. And don’t take it so seriously. I know I’m not going to get into the major leagues, but it’s something I can enjoy.”
For Fuda, the Games are “recharging” and “like a family reunion.” She also enjoys the chance to meet new people and try her hand at new sports, like boccia this year.
“I just start counting down the days,” she said.