Stefanie Johnson, Plano’s World Champion Bowler

Stefanie Johnson started bowling before she was even born, according to her mother. “My mom’s claim to fame is that she was nine months pregnant with me, bowling, and the baby heard pins crashing,” laughs Stefanie. As kids, Stefanie and her brother enrolled in a Saturday morning youth bowling league in Miami. That was 25 years ago. Fast forward to this past December, and Stefanie, along with her Team USA teammates, have just defeated Korea to become the 2015 Women’s Bowling World Champions.

Originally from Florida, and now living in Grand Prairie, Stefanie knew from childhood that she wanted to keep bowling. “The only jobs I’ve ever had in my life were in bowling,” says Stefanie. She bowled while attending college at University of Central Florida. In fall 2008, when the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) moved its headquarters to Arlington, Stefanie moved to Texas to work as their Sponsorship Sales Manager.

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Stefanie’s bowling pin hat makes her easy to spot in the winter months! // all photos courtesy of Stefanie Johnson

Stefanie’s husband is one of the managers at Plano Super Bowl. When Stefanie was looking for a new job opportunity in late 2014, she explains, “Jamie Brooks [the owner at Plano Super Bowl] has known me forever and created a job for me.” Since February 2015, she has been the Group Sales Manager at Plano Super Bowl.

Aside from her career, Stefanie keeps very busy bowling competitively. She’s won five World Championship titles, her first at age 20. In 2015, she was the Professional Women’s Bowling Association’s Rookie of the Year. The entire list of awards she’s won is kind of ridiculous (you can see them all here). This past week, Stefanie traveled to Las Vegas to once again try out for USBC’s Team USA. 12 women out of approximately 100 are chosen. She just found out she made the team again, for the 12th consecutive year.

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Stefanie (right) with teammate Shannon O’Keefe at the World Championships in Abu Dhabi

Until bowling is added as an Olympic sport (Team USA has their fingers crossed for 2024), the USBC World Championship is arguably the highest team event you can bowl. At the 2015 World Championships, 28 countries came together to compete in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Of the 12 women on Team USA, only six got to compete. Stefanie found out at the end of October that she was chosen. She and her teammates are spread around the United States, and they don’t see each other they reach the competition. In some countries, the bowlers are training together year-round—it’s their paid job. But Team USA still came out on top.

Although she’s no stranger to winning, Stefanie is still humbled to have won the World Championship against Korea this past December. “It’s surreal at times, when you put it into words. It’s the highest thing you can win for your country,” she says. The previous year, Team USA went up against Korea and lost. So the victory was especially sweet this time.

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Team USA, after winning the 2015 World Championships in December: (l-r) Shannon O’Keefe from Illinois, Stefanie Johnson from Texas, Danielle McEwan from New York, Shannon Pluhowsky from Ohio, Kelly Kulick from New Jersey and Liz Johnson from New York

Back at home, Stefanie spends her work week at Plano Super Bowl. On weekends, she also spends a good bit of time there practicing and training to keep sharp. She also gives private bowling lessons to both kids and adults. She and her husband are actually planning to move up north soon to be closer to the bowling alley. Of all her hours dedicated to bowling, Stefanie says, “I haven’t gotten sick of it yet, so that tells me this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

Stefanie Johnson Fan Page > Plano Super Bowl Website >

 

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