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Rhythmic gymnast Shin Soo-ji to debut as pro bowler in March

Rhythmic gymnast Shin Soo-ji to debut as pro bowler in March

Posted February. 28, 2015 07:16,   


“Frankly, I feel more excited than burdensome. It is my first participation in a professional bowling competition. As I have no chance to rank to be eligible for a prize, I feel comfortable. Rather, I have expectations about how I would handle if I encounter a difficult lane.”

Voice of Shin Soo-ji, 24, was very cheerful. She did not look nervous at all despite the first competition that she is set to participate after transforming from a rhythmic gymnastics star into a pro bowler. Shin will make her debut as a pro bowler at the 2015 Road Field Amazon Aquarium that will take place at Gongneung Bowling Gymnasium in southern Seoul from March 4 to March 6. It has been about a year since she started exercise under the mentorship of pro bowler Park Gyeong-shin, 38, in February last year.

Shin, who would play 30 games every day due to her strong affection for bowling, reduced her training hours recently not to impose too much stress to her hands. She said, “Coach (pro bowler Park) instructed me to play just 10 games daily, but I often come to play nearly 20 games because I`m highly motivated.” Pro bowlers, both males and females, mostly use a 15-pound bowl. As Shin exercised excessively when she first started practicing bowling, she suffered abnormal conditions in her fingers. Since then, she reduced the weight of her bowl, and used a 14-pound bowl even when she underwent a test to become a pro bowler in November last year. As she increased the weight of her bowl to 15 pounds in preparation for her debut game for one month, she has developed stress in her fingers again. Taking medical treatment and exercising concurrently, Shin said, “I am okay because I am so accustomed to enduring.”

Since her retirement in 2011, Shin, who calls herself an “athletic addict,” has enjoyed various sports, including golf, baseball and horseback riding. Among those sports, she liked bowling far more than others. She touched the bowl for the first time in late 2013. She thought she had athletic sense, but bowling seemed different from other sports to her. She performed so poorly that she felt ashamed. Somewhat shocked, Shin went to a blowing center and exercised alone every day. Then, she was introduced to pro bowler Park and officially started taking lessons.

To Shin, whereas rhythmic gymnastics was something complicated and peculiar that she found challenging but could hardly dump, bowling is an enjoyable sport. She said, “Bowling is attractive because it entails destructive power. While performing rhythmic gymnastics, I also liked strong and charismatic performances. I like bowling bowls that exude power and energy.”

Shin plans to participate in as many bowling competitions as possible this year in order to build up experience. Shin, who is actively working in broadcast programs, said, “I regret that I did not have enough attention from fans comparing to my hard work as a rhythmic gymnast. Bowling is a sport in which Korea rakes in lots of medals at international competitions, but remains unpopular. I hope to promote bowling through broadcasting.”