Ewa Mataya Laurance laughed as she said,“I don’t feel like I am old enough, just so you know.” This comment comes in reference to her upcoming induction into the Billiard Congress of America’s (BCA) Hall of Fame, which was announced in January 2004. While Laurance is being inducted into the Greatest Player category, she will share the limelight with the late George Balabushka, who was elected into the category of Meritorious Service. The BCA’s Hall of Fame honors outstanding individuals whose dedication to the game and competitive skills have enriched the sport and its industry.
While such an honor is sure to make a difference in her life, Laurance says that overall she doesn’t think it will change things too much. “I have a strenuous work exhibition schedule, and I do many corporate events, as well as events for Brunswick such as exhibition and trick shot shows.” As for tournaments, she confirms that she will definitely continue her tournament schedule. “I put a lot of pressure on myself, and I keep thinking I have to do it, and you know I realized I don’t have to do it. only if I want to—if I want to play a lot again and get back into it again, it is going to be my choice.”
There can be fewer more recognizable female players on the tour than Ewa Laurance. Known as “The Striking Viking,” Laurance has had a glittering career in pocket billiards and was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s (BCA) Hall of Fame in 2004.
Laurance has appeared on numerous magazine covers, including New York Times, People, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, and Glamour. She is also a former model, starring in national commercials. Additionally, Laurance provides color commentary for ESPN.
Originally from Gavle, Sweden, Laurance now resides in Conway, SC. Her birthday is February 26. She turned pro in 1981 and has acquired many titles, including International trick shot champion, U.S. Open champion, WPA World 9-Ball Champion, World Open 9-Ball champion, and two-time Swedish National 9-Ball champion. She is sponsored by Brunswick Billiards.
Laurance supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation and also sits on the board of the Billiard Education Foundation. In addition, she frequently participates in celebrity golf tournaments all over the country. To learn more about her, visit her website at strikingviking.com.