Three months ago, Carlos Granados was not even living in the United States, now he is fresh off a gold medal performance for bowling at the Meijer State Games of Michigan. Carlos grew up in Lecheria, Venezuela, and just recently moved to Adrian, Michigan, to pursue a mechanical engineering degree in the United States. Carlos is currently taking ESL for the winter semester before he begins his freshman year at Siena Heights University, where he will also be bowling collegiately.
At 17 years old, Carlos did not follow in his father’s footsteps of bowling until the age of 13. Despite only bowling for four years, Carlos learned the game at a fast pace and earned a spot on the Venezuelan National Bowling Team. In 2013, Carlos represented Team Venezuela well winning the team, singles, and doubles events in the Pan American Games.
Carlos’s success on the lanes has carried over to the Winter Games, where he posted a four game series of 819 (204.75 average.) Carlos explained that the reason he chose to compete in the State Games was to qualify for the State Games of America in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he hopes to earn himself a national title. “Some of the best bowlers are right here in the US,” Granados explained, “To have a chance to even compete on the national stage is an honor and a privilege I hope to take advantage of.” Carlos is well on his way to the State Games of America due to his gold medal performance in the Winter Games. He is looking to repeat that same result in Lincoln on August 2nd.
Despite not yet being eligible to bowl collegiately, Carlos has already had a significant impact on the Siena Heights Bowling Team by sharing his knowledge of the game. His teammates are impressed with the quick transition he has made to the states. “Carlos came into the states and picked up on the language rather quickly,” said Aaron Dear, a teammates of Carlos and a junior at Siena Heights University, “He is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet and he has already made an immediate impact on the lanes without even throwing a ball for us.”
The friendliness Aaron talks about is something Carlos exercises often in his sport by engaging in positive sportsmanship. “No matter what the result,” Granados said, “You always shake your opponent’s hand.” Granados still vividly remembers when shaking a hand at the end of a match was one of the hardest things he ever did. “My team (Venezuela) was down going into the 10th frame. If I got two strikes, we win. Anything else, we lost. My first shot was a strike and my second shot was just as good, but I left the 10-pin. I have never been so mad in my life, but I knew I still had to display good sportsmanship and congratulate my opponent.”
When Carlos is not bowling, he tries to maintain a healthy living by playing basketball, soccer, and baseball, which are all popular sports back in Venezuela. His soccer skills are even being utilized by the Siena Heights Football Team, who is currently trying him out as a kicker at their spring try-outs. Needless to say, Carlos has made a quick transition from Venezuela into the states through the positive social influence of sport. With the State Games of America fast approaching, Carlos hopes to win his first national competition only half a year into living in the United States.
The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a multi-sport, Olympic-style event(s) that welcome athletes regardless of age or ability level. The Games embody the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living.