A North Texas man is celebrating a record-setting performance. He can truly call himself a kingpin after rolling a perfect game.
Bowling a strike takes some skill. Bowling several in a row is difficult and rolling a 300 is just flat out rare. And as far as anyone knows Shawn Beam is the only person to ever do it from a wheelchair.
Beam said he was born with a pinched nerve and has been in a wheelchair all his life. He took up bowling when he was a teenager and has been competing for about 22 years.
Seven or eight strikes a night is normal for him. But last Friday night at Cityview Lanes in Fort he hit nine in a row. Then he hit 10.
"That's when you know everybody noticed. The whole place stops and everybody gathers behind you," he said.
His best friend Alan Cole rushed over to his lane.
"I got my wife. I said, ‘Hey look he's gonna shoot it. He's gonna shoot it,'" Cole said.
Beam rolled another strike.
"He's like, ‘Oh yeah, it's all over. It's all over but the crying now man,'" Cole said.
Eleven strikes in a row was Beam's own personal record. But he needed just one more for a perfect game.
"When I threw the last shot I felt like I did everything right. I felt like I did everything the same way I did the other 11," he said.
"When they all fell, man the feeling is just amazing," Beam said.
According to the American Wheelchair Bowling Association, it was the first time a bowler in a wheelchair had ever rolled a perfect game.
And officials at the U.S. Bowling Congress in Arlington, the headquarters for the sport, certified his score and put his game in the record books.
Now he just hopes that others who are in a wheelchair know it's possible.
"So many guys right now are coming back from the war who may have been injured and hurt and may be in a chair the rest of their life or may be an amputee or anything like that. Just to know that there are sports out there that they can still compete on the same playing field as everyone else," Beam said.
He said his goal now is an 800 series, or three games with a combined score of 800 points.
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