Olivia "Bong" Coo
|Olivia BONG Coo|
|Born||June 3, 1948|
|Occupation||Retired, Sporting Apparel Design Consultant|
Most bemedalled Filipino Athlete
Olivia "Bong" Coo is a tenpin bowler from the Philippines. She is the most bemedalled Filipino athlete per Philippine Republic Act 9064   also known as "Athletes Incentives Act of 2001". Her career with the national team has earned for Philippines 78 medals broken down to 37 gold, 23 silver and 18 bronze, and won a total of 137 championship titles with at least one Masters title for 28 consecutive years.
Bong Coo is four-time world champion and the first Filipino athlete listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. She is one of the inaugural member to the International Bowling Hall of FameSt. Louis Missouri in 1993 with compatriot Paeng Nepomuceno (the Hall of Fame relocated to Arlington, Texas in 2010).
Bong Coo was named one of the "Greatest International Bowlers of All-Time" by the prestigious Bowlers Journal International in its November 2013 100-year anniversary issue.
All Events Champion
All Events is the combined scores in 6 events: Singles, Doubles, Trios and 5-Team Event. Played in varying lane conditions and pace totaling 24 games . This category is regarded as the most prestigious medal in world bowling (see WTBA World Tenpin Bowling Championships).
Bong Coo is the only bowling athlete who has won the All Events titles in bowling's quadrennial and biennial competitions such as the regional games, Zone championships and World Championships. She owned the All Events records on those tournaments at one time in 1986, consequently, she was named World Bowling Writers Female "World Bowler of the Year" that year.
Major All Events Titles and records
- Tenpin bowling's most prestigious event, the Quadrennial World Championships Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs FIQ World Championship now WTBA World Tenpin Bowling Championships, consecutive in 1979 and 1983
- Quadrennial Asian Games, consecutive in 1978 and 1986 (bowling was not part of the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games)
- Biennial Zone Championships (Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs now Asian Bowling Federation Championship), 14 years apart 1972 and 1986
- Biennial South East Asian Games, consecutive in 1981 and 1983
Other Major Individual and Masters Titles
Bong Coo also won the Bowling World Cup (1979), quadrennial Asian Games Singles and Masters (1978), the biennial FIQ Zone Championships Masters (twice, 20 years apart 1972 and 1992), the biennial FIQ Zone Championships Singles (twice 1978 and 1984) and the biennial South East Asian Games Masters (1981).
The Asian Games are held every four years, it is the biggest multi-sport games after the Olympic Games and is the most prestigious event organised by the Olympic Council of Asia.
Bong Coo won the nation's most gold medal in the quadrennial Asian Games 63-year history, winning five gold medals. No other Asian bowling athlete won more gold medals in the Asian Games. Bong Coo achieved what experts believe to be a historic record by winning all the individual events at the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok Thailand.
Asian Zone Championships
International bowling is divided into three geographical Zones. America, European and Asia which includes Australia and the Western Pacific.
Bong Coo won the most gold medals in the biennial Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) Zone Championships now known as the Asian Bowling Championships, with 14 gold medals in 12 consecutive tournament participation. Her Zone Masters titles were acknowledged by the World Bowling Writers Hall of Fame Committee equivalent to world medals. To this day she still holds the most gold medals won in the FIQ Zone Championships in one celebration with 5 gold medals in 6 events.
Southeast Asian Games
The Southeast Asian Games (also known as the SEA Games), is a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from the current 11 countries of Southeast Asia. It is supervised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Council of Asia..
The Philippines hosted the Southeast Asian Games for the first time in 1981. Bong Coo emerged as its most successful Filipino campaigner. She won six medals in six events, four of which were gold medals where she set six individual game records. Bong won the gold in Ladies Doubles with Lita de la Rosa and averaged 221 in Trios en route to an Individual All Events gold medal and became the South East Asian Games Masters champion.
In 2000, Bong Coo was voted one of the Philippines Athlete of the Millennium and was awarded an Achievement Diploma by the International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch in recognition of her outstanding contribution in promoting the development and participation of women and girls in sports, she was 17-years earlier awarded the Philippine Olympic Medal of Honor. She was also named one of the Ten Outstanding Women for the Nations Service (TOWNS) in 1986. The TOWNS award is conferred every three years by the TOWNS Foundation on Filipino women who have rendered outstanding service to the nation.
Retired from active competition, she teaches Sport Bowling since 2002 under the Department of Human Kinetics at the University of the Philippines and Colegio de San Juan de Letran where bowling is included in the Physical Education curriculum. Her syllabus was approved by the Philippine Department of Education in 2001.
She briefly participated in seniors competitions where she won two Seniors Master Titles in 2008 at age 60 and in 2012 at 64.
A major bowing ball manufacturer released the MVP-Bong Coo ball in 2001 and in 2003, they are approved by the USBC (United States Bowling Congress) for use in international competitions. In 2003, the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) bowlers honored her through the Filipino bowlers of UAE in the "Bong Coo MVP Cup"  participated in by OFW's from Brunei, Malaysia, Guam, California, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Singapore. She provides free bowling training to youth bowlers from OFW families.
Summary of Awards and achievements
- 4-time World Champion
- First Filipino Athlete listed in the Guinness Book of World Records
- Inaugural member to the World Bowling Writers International Bowling Hall of Fame (1993) at the International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA with compatriot Paeng Nepomuceno (in 2010 the Hall of Fame Museum moved to Arlington, Texas)
- One of the "Greatest International Bowlers of All-Time" by the Bowlers Journal International Bowling Lists 100 Year Celebration, Nov. 2013
- Selected to the "Top 24 International Bowlers of All-Time" by the Bowlers Journal International edition, Sept. 2004
- Most bemedalled Filipino athlete per Republic Act 9064 "Athletes Incentives Act of 2001"
- Most bemedalled Filipino athlete of all time with 78 international medals in regional and world events where she competed as a member of the national squad, broken down to 37 gold, 23 silver and 18 bronze
- Most gold medals won by a Filipino athlete in the quadrennial Asian Games with five
- Most bemedalled Filipino athlete in the Asian Games in one celebration 1978 held in Bangkok, Thailand
- Most Gold Medal in the biennial Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) Zone Championships with 14 in 12 consecutive participation in 28 years
- Most Gold Medal won in Fédération Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) Zone Championships in one celebration 5 gold medals in 6 events
- Most successful Filipino campaigner in the 1981 South East Asian Games Held in Manila with 4 gold and 2 silver medals in 6 events
- First bowler to win in two different world tournaments in a year
- Total of 137 bowling tournament titles
- Won at least one Masters title for 28 consecutive years.
- Named "Athlete of the Millennium" by the Philippine Sportswriters Association in 2000
- Awarded an Achievement Diploma by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Juan Antonio Samaranch in 2000 in recognition of her outstanding contribution in promoting the development and participation of women and girls in sports
- Only repeat All Events Champion in the quadrennial World Championships (consecutive - 4 years apart)
- Only repeat All Events Champion in the quadrennial Asian Games (consecutive - 8 years apart)
- Only repeat Women All Events Champion in the Asian Zone Championships (14 years apart)
- First repeat All Events Champion in the South East Asian Games (consecutive)
- World Bowling Writers World Bowler of the year in 1986, the WBW has a membership of over 300 bowling writers worldwide
- Federation Internationale des Quilleurs Woman Bowler of Year for 1992–1993
- Voted Asia's Most Durable Bowler in 1992
- Voted World Bowler of the Year in 1986
- Held the All Events games records in the national, regional level, and world level championships in biennial and quadrennial games simultaneously in 1986
- Named " Athlete of the Year" Philippine Sportswriters Association in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986
- 13-time Philippine Sportswriters Association Bowler of the Year
- Awarded the Philippine Olympic Medal of Honor in 1983 and Bowler of the Decade
- Named Asia's Bowling Queen in 1972
- Set three world records in consecutive World Championships in 1979 and 1983, one world record in the 1979 World Cup, seven Asian records in the Zone Championships in 1986 and 1992, five Asian records in consecutive Asian Games in 1978 and 1986 and six South East Asian Games records at the SEAG in 1981
- One of the 100 Filipinas featured in Filipina Firsts: A Salute to 100 Women Pioneers 1898-1998
- Only athlete included in the Philippines 100 Women of the Century in 2000
- Chosen one the country's "Inspiring Mothers" by the Family Today Magazine in 2000
- Awarded "Kababaihang Makasaysayan" by the National Centennial Commission- Women Sector – ensured women’s visibility in history and nation building through Global Movement for Herstories, 1999
- Honored in the first ICHPER-SD Asia Conference Sport Covenant for Women - for uplifting the status of women in sports, 1998
- All Filipino Sports Awards Athlete of the Year for Bowling, 1973 and 1975
- Named one of the Ten Outstanding Women for the Nations Service (TOWNS) in 1986. The TOWNS Award is conferred every three years by the TOWNS Foundation on Filipino women who have rendered outstanding service to the nation; The TOWNS Foundation is dynamic group of empowered Filipino women leaders who have contributed positively to shaping the nation’s future and serving as a catalyst for economic and social development by providing their time, talent and resources to government organizations
- Received citations from both houses of Congress in 1993
- Philippine Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame member
- "Philippine Star - President hands out P30-M to RP heroes".
- Manila Standard Vol. XVI No. 103 Tuesday, May 28, 2002 Front Page - May I present… President Arroyo enjoys bantering with bowler Bong Coo…. Coo received the lion's share….
- "Sports Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001".
- "Philippine coaches receive long overdue cash rewards".
- "Winningest Bowler of All Time".
- "Philippine Senator Pia S. Cayetano Sponsorship Speech on Philippine Senate Resolution No.1247 Empowered Women: Raising the Bar".
- "International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum".
- Bowlers Journal November 2013 issue Luby Publishing
- "European Tenpin Bowling Federation Championship History World Championships 1979".
- "European Tenpin Bowling Federation Championship History World Championships 1983".
- Philippines at the 1978 Asian Games
- Philippines at the 1986 Asian Games
- "1979 Bowling World Cup".
- Philippines at the 1978 Asian Games
- Bowling at the Asian Games Bowling at the Asian Games
- "New Straits Times - Aug 30, 1992, Bong Coo Retires in a Blaze".
- 1981 South East Asian Games in Manila, Philippines
- "PSAMedia Philippines in the Asian Games".
- Bowlers Journal November 2013 issue Luby Publishing
- "United States Bowling Congress Approved Bowling Ball List" (PDF).
- "Bong Coo MVP Cup, Philippine Star".
- "OFWs see action in Bong Coo tilt Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec. 28, 2003".
- "Manila Standard Aug 22, 1992".
- "Philippines Sportswriters Association Awardees".
Bong Coo, A living legend in her time, Raffy Japa, Manila Standard, May 27, 1987
Bong Coo Planning to Retire, Manila Standard - Sep 4, 1992 p. 28
"Filipina Firsts: A Salute to 100 Women Pioneers 1898-1998" by the Philippine American Foundation
- "Sulong Pilipina! Sulong Pilipinas! A Compilation of Filipino Women Centennial Awardees" ISBN 971-91276-5-1 by the National Centennial Commission
- 100 Women of the Philippines. Joy Buensalido & Abe Florendo. OCLC 43403823
- "The Olympic Movement in the Philippines" ISBN 971-553-476-7 by Celso Limjuco Dayrit