Published on August 17th, 2011 | by DerbyLife0
Meet Team USA: White Flight
Rose City Rollers
DL: What was your previous athletic background, if any?
WF: I did not play sports growing up, I elected to be in all things band (marching band, orchestra, pit orchestra, pep band, jazz band, and wind ensemble). I started exploring the idea of being an athlete when I was 23 years old with Mixed Martial Arts. Training to be a cage fighter played a big role in how I started playing derby. I had only been athletically active for just under a year when it became clear I had to choose between derby or cage fighting. I hope to return to that when my derby life slows down a considerable amount.
DL: Why did you want to be on Team USA?
WF: At first I was curious to see how I stacked up against other skaters in the country. Then I started really thinking about what it all would mean if I was able to get myself on the team. This is history in the making. All those long hard hours practicing in the freezing cold or the sweltering heat have paid off.
DL: How did you feel when you found out you had made it?
WF: I was stunned. I was listening to the podcast while gearing up for practice when it suddenly stopped playing. Panic ensued as we tried to refresh, switch websites, etc. Finally, we were able to find the list online. It is scary having a name at the end of the alphabet. I knew that it all came down to the last name on the list…would it be mine? I jumped about ten feet in the air when I saw it.
DL: Which skater inspires you most, and why?
WF: Rhea Derange is one of my role models for sure. I remember the first time I saw the travel team practicing after scrimmage. I thought I would never be able to keep up with them. By that summer I was among the ranks of the Wheels of Justice and learning from the best in our league.
Rhea has been the picture of patient yet aggressive play. She made the transition from a jammer with vision to a pivot with vision and great communication/pack control effortlessly. She is a great strength to our team as a level-headed, honest person off the track as well. I know when I ask for feedback from her she will give it to me straight. I hope one day I can be as versatile as she is on and off the track.
DL: Any advice for skaters just starting out?
WF: Derby is hard. Derby is fun. Derby can be dangerous. If you choose to undergo a derby transformation, you have to remember that it is something you will NEVER perfect. Don’t be afraid to fall down, get the strategy wrong, miss a jammer, etc. If you don’t make those mistakes you will never learn how to become an effective player. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, try to have a sense of humor about it all. It is a tragedy when derby stops being fun.
To support Team USA, you can make a contribution to their travel fund.
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