1980 Nationals - Paula Hopper's Memories

The following recollections were written by Paula (Hopper) Kolstad of the national championship team from Bigelow, AR.

Teen Bible Quiz was a highlight for me. I absolutely loved it. I started quizzing just before I turned 12. That year the book we studied was John. I put a lot of time into studying so that year I was the top quizzer on our team. We won the state level but were disqualified because we had been misinformed about my being old enough to quiz. I was 27 days too young. Without my scores our team would not have won. We were disappointed, but our coach (who was also our Jr. High/High School English teacher) met with us and asked if we wanted to get started on the next book and how far we wanted to try to go. We all said that we were ready to get started and that we wanted to go to nationals! She later told us that she thought she would be thrilled if we made it to regionals. We got started studying/memorizing the book of Romans and joined the Springfield Quiz League so that we would be challenged. We also went to several tournaments throughout the year. By the time we started the official competitions we were all able to quote Romans forward and backward. We attended a very small church so when we won regionals and knew we were headed to nationals it was a big deal. Our experience at nationals started pretty badly. We lost our first round with a negative score. I’m sure everyone decided we didn’t have a chance. I’m sure it was nerves. At the end of the first round there was a four-way tie. Our coach’s husband and I were the only two that thought we still had a chance. At the last match there were probably almost as many people watching as lived in our town. My grandmother kept her head bowed praying the entire time. Although it has been 30 years I have a mental picture of that time. It was an incredible feeling standing on the stage when we were presented our trophy. We had accomplished something that many probably thought we couldn’t.

Bible Quiz helped all of our team grow in many ways. I was so shy before I started quizzing, but quickly gained a lot of self-confidence. We also got to know people from all over the country. Bible Quiz is a tremendous program.