Published on September 12th, 2011 | by DerbyLife0
Meet Team USA: Vivien LeighEmOut
Vivien LeighEmOut aka Katie Mae Peters
A’Salt Creek Roller Girls & Missile Mountain Roller Derby
Officially 1 year this September
DL: What was your previous athletic background, if any?
VL: I ran cross-country for one week in high school and then promptly dropped out to become an AV/film nerd.
DL: Why did you want to manage Team USA?
VL: Well first off, I’d like to say: “Hi my name is Katie, and I am a roller derby addict…”
The first day I joined derby, every part of my being couldn’t get enough. I would skate every day, read/listen/watch anything derby, develop crazy trick plays I wanted to try with my team, and eventually even got a ref to be my roommate just so I could have someone to talk penalties and strategy with at all hours of the day. So when I heard about a roller derby World Cup, my brain flipped. It felt like such a natural progression in my derby career I had to jump at it. Even though I’m a pretty decent skater and my game is always improving, I knew the strengths I could offer the team this year were not in skating but rather in my organization/business savvy; thus, manager.
AND how can anyone overlook that this is the FIRST EVER WORLD CUP??? The sheer potential this event holds for the sport of roller derby and women in general is incredible! I feel extremely humble and fortunate to be able to be a part of such a monumental event. Why wouldn’t I want this job?
DL: What is the biggest challenge facing Team USA in connection with the World Cup?
VL: I think Team USA is at a great advantage because we’ve had roller derby a lot longer than most (if not all) of the other countries competing, but you never know. I mean, you guys have seen Cool Runnings, right?
The newer countries lack the plethora of league/skater background info floating around on the interwebs, which makes it a lot harder, scouting-wise, to gauge the level at which everyone we’ll face is going to be competing.
DL: What qualities make a skater great?
VL: Perseverance and Determination. A great skater never makes excuses and always strives to find that next level they can push themselves to.
DL: What are your favorite non-derby sports to watch?
VL: LOL, the only non-derby thing I have time to watch is True Blood and that’s even too much time away sometimes.
DL: Which skater inspires you most, and why?
VL: Definitely Bonnie D. Stroir. Not only is she a great skater who is making a living with her sport; she also has an amazingly positive attitude and constantly strives to make people take roller derby seriously as a sport. She’s definitely been a pioneer to be inspired by.
And even though Apolo Ohno isn’t a merby boy, I still gobble up any sort of skating insight he puts out into the world. His career definitely inspires me to be a more focused athlete and his Endu(red) pictures inspire me to stop eating McDonald’s.
DL: Do you have any advice for skaters just starting out?
VL: Don’t let others get you down. There are some derby players out there with too much ego and not enough team spirit who would rather watch new skaters flounder than help them excel to their potential. Unfortunately it seems like every league has one. No matter how mean or negative another skater is to you, persevere and fight through the roadblocks they try to throw your way. You’ll be 10 times the skater they’ll ever even dream of becoming.
To support Team USA, you can make a contribution to their travel fund at Traveler’s Joy.
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