IM this article to a friend!

October 5, 2004

Decker excels in deaf national tourney

From: Penn Live, PA - Oct 5, 2004

Lindy Decker hasn't let the fact that she is deaf inhibit her any on the lanes. She has shrugged off the difficulties and pursued excellence. And Decker has certainly had little trouble doing it on the local level in both Harrisburg and York, as well as on the state level.

You can add the national level to that list.

Decker traveled to Orlando, Fla., and came away with an impressive victory in the third annual National Deaf Masters tournament held at Boulevard Bowl.

"This was special for me because I was the first woman to make the finals and to win the tournament," said Decker, a 34-year-old southpaw. "I also found it special to be able to beat two pros in the semifinals and finals."

It should be. Especially when you consider that she started her qualifying block with games of 170 and 190. She rebounded to average 218.8 for 20 games, including a decisive 259-216 victory in the finals over professional bowler Frank Gallo Jr.

"This was my first deaf tournament since 1992, so I was very nervous," Decker said. "I also had a difficult time with my thumb swelling up.

"I went to the pro shop and got the thumbs opened up, and I was able to calm down after that."

That's when Decker took control and left the rest of the field behind.

If there was any doubt who was going to claim the $3,000 top prize, it was laid to rest when Decker cruised through match play and had a seven-strike, two-spare performance in the final match.

"It was important to me to bowl well in this tournament because I knew coming in it would be a challenge competing against good deaf bowlers," said Decker, who representing the United States in the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia. "This was the type of challenge that should prepare me mentally for the Deaflympics."

JEREMY ELLIOTT: 255-8250 or

© 2004 All Rights Reserved