Far away from the virus-maddened crowds of Tokyo’s Olympic Villiage, Team Edminster secured a landmark victory for the United States at this year’s first annual Liberty Lake Bocce tournament dominating the winner’s podium with bronze, silver and gold medals.

We met with up-and-coming talent Elliot “the wrecking ball” Edminster as she wiped the blood from her bruised knuckles with the ribbon of her bronze medal. “We played hard today, but not hard enough. I’ve been building up to this moment since I first drew breath, so a loss like this is a crushing blow. But hey, the competition was incredibly stiff this year,” and then added with a wry smirk, “particularly in the over-40 division.” When asked about her plans for the future she responded, “Tell the uncles and those European upstarts to start stretching today because this isn’t over!”

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But veteran baller and silver medalist Jen-Lyn (known in the Bocce world as “the Shaman”) was a bit more circumspect. “Bocce isn’t just a competitive sport, it’s an art form, even a way of life. I think if I’ve learned anything from my storied career it’s that you never really touch the pallino, no matter how close you may get. The most we can hope for is a kiss and then another game. You know, we think we throw the ball, but really the ball throws us.”

I asked the Shaman to address the rumors she may have played her last frame. “Oh no, I’ve only just gotten started. The future of Bocce is wide open and with performances like we saw today, I think the field can only benefit from a diversity of experience, technique and style. We’re all in this together.”

And then she added, “But tell the kids to start stretching.”

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