PAENG FEATURED ON FHM MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2011
Paeng Nepomuceno - Bowler
We talk about redemption by winning.
For the longest time we wished basketball did it. Now we're hoping football will do it. Dragon boating has made headways into it in the last couple of years. Boxing has done it, but it will be apparent only after the history of the sport is rewritten for the 21st century.
What we forget is that we have already been redeemed.
Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno,54, has long ago saved us from our sporting sins by winning his first Bowling World Cup in 1976, when he was 19. From then on he has been doing the saving over and over again. Six World bowling championships in three different decades, winning and winning that the Guinness Book of World Records has had to regularly update to keep up with his 123 titles, until the bowling world had practically given him every imaginable championship that the only one left was to name him International Bowling Athlete of the Millennium- that's a thousand years, and modern bowling is only a little over a hundred years old.
On paper his bowling achievements read like a blur. And yet he isn't done yet.
He isn't done yet imagine that.
Why in the world would he be? Just look at him. At 54, it looks like his 19 only happened a few years ago (thankfully, his family has kept an impressive video archive of his career, allfree to watch on Youtube). His muscles remeber so well how to clean out a perfect gameit's almost like a science. In fact, he just recently won the 2011 Philippine International Open Masters, making him the youngest (he first clinched the title when he was 17) and oldest winner of an international Open.
So as we write this he is going to compete again. He'll probably win and the list is one entry longer. if he loses, it'snothing to crow about. He will win it. If he hasn't years back.
He is no spent shell. Just looking at him, how fine his form, how despite the showing of the years he is still free from decay, you get a sneaking feeling he might actually have to live forever to be that way.