Published on August 12th, 2011 | by Suzy Hotrod0
America, Fuck Yeah: How It Feels To Make The World Cup Team
America, fuck yeah! Yes, you’re going to hear that a lot in the next few month as Team USA gears up for the World Cup. So what does it mean to represent your country? This is a historical event for our sport. (Note to World: I REALLY hope there’s an actual cup. I want to drink out of that thing, BADLY.) I found myself walking through the airport the other day looking at people and thinking, “I represent you and you and you and you! I’m on YOUR first ever national roller derby team!” (I always like how at basketball games they are introduced as MY New York Knicks.) Likely not many people in the airport even know about roller derby, but rest assured, if I told them I was representing them, I bet they would be excited. Truthfully, I’m representing the roller derby skaters, but Americans have pride in anyone that is a “national all-star,” no matter what field they’re specializing in.
Your country is like your family. You didn’t choose it, you’re stuck with it, and you love it, god damn it… or at least I do, SO THERE. We’re the loudmouth young nation that invented rock and roll. I think cowboys are handsome, support blowing shit up on the 4th of July, and think our flag kicks ass. I’m a simple person. I still get chills when I hear the national anthem play before a bout. Whatever your political and personal stances on our country, I see people coming from all over the planet for a chance to be here living with us.
I am not an Olympian. But I feel like one. And for our sport, this is our first Olympics. The years of sweat, injuries, and putting everything else in my ENTIRE LIFE second. This is the first selection of the best skaters from the country for a sport that was reinvented and began less than 10 years ago. (Insanely fast growth thanks to the Internet and the power of women, in my humble option.) This is history. Aren’t you getting chills just thinking about it???
Rivals and fierce opponents are teammates now putting aside competitive separation and celebrating the sport together. The USA is a small part. We may have started it, but the more important part is that the rest of the world followed. Given that the US started long before everyone else and since we have the largest number of skaters playing nationally compared to the rest of the world, I’d say we’re at a sliiiiiight advantage. But I want to see Ireland play Australia play Germany play Brazil play New Zealand play Canada play Argentina play Finland play France play Scotland play Sweden. I can’t believe I just typed that. That’s happening?
We’ve come a long way from skating in a Costco parking lot. As Arson Tina, a skater for my league who will be skating on Team Argentina, said to me, “It IS incredibly exciting! It’s amazing how life never stops surprising me. I was more the kind of kid that would go to a science competition, and now I’m representing my country at an athletic event! Ha! It’s so ridiculous, but I’m going to do it, I’m going to enjoy every minute of it, I’m going to take a photo and hang it on my wall, and smile every day when I look at it.”
One time, we bouted Montreal and heard them screaming “ALLER!” which, we figured out pretty damn fast, is “Go!” Imagine the words being yelled on an international track. Is the 20 foot rule converted to meters for Europeans?
It takes an idea. A person to just say, we’re gonna do this crazy thing. That’s how roller derby happened, and that’s how the World Cup happened. Amazing. Thanks to Black Dahlia of Blood and Thunder for coming up with this crazy idea and thanks to the world for being crazy enough to go along with it. Oh! And if you’re someone who was cynical about it, don’t you feel stupid now?
Team USA is “passing the hat” to try to raise money. Feel free to toss in a few crumpled dollars.
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