Striking Spotlight: Chris Klerk

Seasons Greetings everyone and welcome back to this month’s Spotlight. I hope you all received that new bowling ball or bowling shoes that you wanted Santa to bring to you. As I sit here I can not believe that 2008 is behind us and WOW what a year that was. I can only wait to see what 2009 has in store for us. We are going to focus this month on a very talented bowler. It is with great pleasure I get to introduce you all to a fellow Columbia 300 and Verve Energy Drink staff member Chris Klerk. Chris has been rolling his ball very well as of late. After falling to in the Championship round of the ACBA in November, Chris found himself once again in the Championship round against another worthy opponent Ben Laughlin. Chris Klerk won the December ACBA and also shot the only 300 game of the day. So lets sit down and learn some more about Chris Klerk.

1) What city/state were you born in? Somers Point, NJ

2) Is there something you wish you could do over again? No, every choice I’ve ever made has led me to where I am today. I’m very happy with everything right now, and where I feel I’m headed in the future.

3) What is something that you are really proud of and why? When it comes to on the lanes, I’d say the highlight of my career thus far is winning a Silver Medal in the World Youth Championships in Thailand as a member of Jr. Team USA back in 2002. While it wasn’t a Gold Medal, there are not many opportunities in life to represent your country in the World Championships. To not only be able to do that, but stand on the podium wearing the Red, White and Blue with a medal around my neck was an experience I’ll never forget! While I’ve been fortunate enough to have quite a few highlights in my career so far, but nothing really compares to that feeling. When it comes to off the lanes, earning my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Arizona State is something I’ll always be very proud of.

4) When people look back at your life, how do you want to be remembered? First and foremost the most important thing to me is being remembered for how much I cared about others, especially my family and friends. I’d also hope to be remembered as a well respected man, who was very hard working and a true competitor.

5) What is your favorite sports teams and why? Definitely the San Diego Padres and San Diego Chargers! I lived in San Diego as a child and they were my favorite teams then, and always will be.

6) What advice would you give a bowler with dreams of someday making it on the PBA Tour? To play any professional sport, including bowling, you have to dream big and be willing to work hard. You have to be willing to be early to practice, stay later than anyone else, and have an open mind when it comes to working on things to strengthening your game. Back a few years ago I remember watching the ESPY’s, and listening to Jim Valvano give his memorable speech in regards to his fight with cancer that I feel is fitting. While his speech had so many great points, the theme that he got across, along with the motto for the V Foundation is “Don’t give up, Don’t EVER give up!” I think that is appropriate to so many things, but especially when it comes to chasing your dreams.

7) You’ve obviously achieved a lot, but what is one of your greatest disappointments, and how did you deal with it? I don’t dwell on the disappointments in life. Whether it is on the lanes or in life, there are always lessons to be learned and they are what help you move on and grow. You learn so much more when you don’t succeed, as opposed to when you do. Learning from those ‘disappointments’ is what makes you a better competitor and person.

8) Do you have anything to say that we didn’t ask you about? I’d really like to show some thanks to those that have helped me throughout the years. They definitely deserve a little recognition! I must start by thanking my family and friends for all their love and encouragement. To Gabe Rocco, for without his countless hours of coaching my game would be nothing close to what it is today. I could never show enough appreciation to everyone at Columbia 300 for giving me the best bowling equipment on the market to use everyday. Last but not least I’d like to think Verve! for the incredible healthy products that help fuel my body to compete at a high level throughout the long days of competition, while also giving my body all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it requires on a daily basis. So to all of you, THANKS!

9) Who did you look up to? I’ve always looked up to my parents. They were great role models as a child growing up, and still are today!

10) Who challenges you most on the lanes, and how? Myself! With bowling being a sport where you don’t play defense, you always have to challenge yourself to get better. If you’re not working to get better, the competition is going to go right past you. So remember…practice, practice, practice!

See ya next month ……Gotta split



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