One veteran and one rookie named to Canada’s Santiago 2023 bowling team
TORONTO (September 5, 2023) – Canadian Tenpin Federation and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s bowling team nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
The Team Canada bowling team for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is:
Hupé and Lavoie were selected based on their performances over the last four years at the Canadian Team Trials as well as various international competitions. Canada earned its two men’s quota spots through the 2022 Panam Bowling Champion of Champions event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last September.
Santiago 2023 will mark the third Pan American Games appearance for Lavoie. In his debut at Toronto 2015, he won doubles gold with teammate Dan MacLelland. The pair also competed in doubles together at the 2018 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Championships, where they won bronze, and at Lima 2019, where they placed fourth. An individual career highlight came when Lavoie won the prestigious US Open tournament in 2016, becoming the first person in the tournament’s 77-year history to bowl a perfect game in the televised finals. He won his third major, the Tournament of Champions, on the Professional Bowlers Tour in 2021.
“I take great pride in representing Canada internationally,” said Lavoie. “My whole professional career stems from a competitive fire that was ignited years ago when I competed for Team Canada for the first time. I haven’t found another way to feel the emotions of winning while wearing the maple leaf, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that unique feeling. I’m excited to participate in the Pan Am Games once again and hopefully contribute to Canada’s medal haul.”
Lavoie will lend his experience to teammate Mitch Hupé, who will make his Pan American Games debut at Santiago 2023. Hupé joined the Professional Bowlers Association in 2018 and won the Master’s event at the 2018 World Championships. He is also a two-time Canadian Team Trials champion. Hupé won his first Professional Bowlers National Tour title this past May — the Roth/Holman Doubles Championship.
Hupé and Lavoie will compete in both the men’s singles and men’s doubles events.
Bowling has been part of the Pan American Games since Havana 1991. Canada has won 13 bowling medals at the Pan American Games, including four gold, three silver and six bronze.
“I’m confident that both François and Mitch, who know each other very well, will represent Canada to the utmost of their capabilities,” said Frank Buffa, Head Coach at Canadian Tenpin Federation. “Not only is François the most successful Canadian bowler ever on the PBA tour, he’s a true leader and is well respected by his peers. A role model for youth to follow, he’s a great representative for our sport in Canada. And Mitch is an amazing talent whose style is a bowler’s dream. He is in his prime right now, and we can’t wait to watch and encourage him at this first Pan American Games.”
Bowling will take place November 2 to 5 (Day 13-16) at the Centro de Bowling, La Florida.
“Rolling in now to Team Canada is the bowling team, ready to strike success at the Pan Am Games! I can’t wait to see how these two athletes roll!” said Christine Girard, Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission.
Team Canada’s bowling team alternate athletes and coaches for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:
Graham Fach (Guelph, Ont.) – Alternate Athlete (Non-Travelling)
Darren Alexander (Windsor, Ont.) – Alternate Athlete (Non-Travelling)
Earl Sobotkiewicz (Winnipeg, Man.) – Team Coach
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.
The latest Team Canada Santiago 2023 roster can be found here.
Cathy Innes, Executive Director
Tara MacBournie, Team Canada Santiago 2023 Sport Communications Lead
Canadian Olympic Committee