The first Polar Bear 5-man in existence was a great event.  It was the first of its kind.  It also had a special guest.  Walt Fowler was born in Okinawa, Japan.  He then lived the life of a military brat, moving often.  He moved to Omaha, Nebraska in 1980.  In 1991, he started playing paintball with a friend of his, George Bender.  He started out on a few local Nebraska teams, including Stalkers, where he played with George.  As 1996 grew to a close, he was asked to join Farside, a top-level team.  One short year later, Walt and Farside had claimed the title of NPPL Amateur Champions for the year. 
 

            In 1998, Walt decided to hang up the gear in pursuit of a business venture.  He started a limousine company.  He ran his new business and in 2002, he decided to give paintball another go.  He began playing with some local teams from Nebraska again, and then in 2002, he was asked to join OBR, Ohio Black Reign, a pro team from Ohio.  He has competed in 5 NPPL World Cup events, as well as numerous other big tournaments.  When asked about his opinions on Minnesota paintball, Walt had this to say, “The level of competition and style of play here in Minnesota is really no different than elsewhere.  It’s not like in California they have so much better talent than here, it’s just there’s more players.  The different levels of skill are represented the same here as anywhere…”  Walt played in this weekend’s Polar Bear 5-man tourney at PGI.  He had a great time, and when asked about how the tournament was run, he stated that, “it’s amazing to see how well this tournament went considering the amount of teams.  There are other tournaments I have been in with half this many teams and it took twice as long.  The organization was well thought out and I was surprised at how well things ran.” 

 

            Walt has now sold his limo business, which has afforded him the time to play serious paintball, and he doesn’t regret it.  He is a certified gun tech for Warped Sportz, and he is opening a Warped Sportz Park in Omaha.  I asked Walt what he thought could be improved in this sport and he said, “I’d like to see the stores working more closely with the fields to grow the sport.  If every medium and facility was working together, it would be very beneficial to paintball.”  I would like to thank Walt for coming up to see Minnesota paintball, as well as his friend George, who also played in the tourney.  Walt Fowler would like to extend a thank you to his, and OBR’s, sponsors:  Smart Parts, Raven, Zap, Pinnacle Woods Paintball, Straight Shot Squeegees, Planet Eclipse Paintball, and Pure Energy Tanks. 

 

Walt Fowler interviewed by Jay Rosauer, May 18, 2002 - MNpig.com.



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