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Published on October 17th, 2011 | by DerbyLife

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Meet Team USA: Donna Matrix

Name
Donna Matrix

League Affiliation

Gotham

Years Skating

7 years playing roller derby. Before that, only recreational skating.

DL: What was your previous athletic background, if any?
DM:
I played soccer as a kid. But I have never really loved any sports until now.

DL: Why did you want to be on Team USA?
DM:
I think the World Cup is an important step in advancing Roller Derby as a sport. It is an opportunity to reach derby skaters and fans in a unique way. It is a competition, but it is also a learning experience. Just as the first Dust Devil began a frenzy of national competition, this has the potential to be the same kind of catalyst. It is a starting point – one that may begin the next chapter in the history of modern derby.

Selfishly, I want to play derby at the highest level possible. It is the closest thing to the Olympics that we have right now. So I had to go for it!

DL: How did you feel when you found out you had made it?
DM:
Relieved, excited, exhilarated and proud.

DL: Which skater inspires you most, and why?
DM:
The first skater to really blow my mind was Hoot’n Annie from Tuscon. I saw her skate at the first Dust Devil and was impressed with her energy and her ability to multi-task. She was always working in the pack, always busy. I said to myself – I want to skate like that. Then I ran up to her and told her the same thing.

These days, I look to my team for inspiration. Their drive and ambition is palpable. If I have a moment of fatigue or burnout, I look to my team. Their willingness to work is inspiring.

When that is not enough, my coach’s frank and honest criticism pushes me to better my game. It’s a combination of wanting to be the best I can but also wanting to prove to him I can do it. His expectations are high, and that ignites my drive to exceed them.

DL: Do you have any advice for skaters just starting out?
DM:
Push yourself outside your comfort zone if you want to get better.
Take care of your body! Replace your kneepads, drink your protein, and take your vitamins.

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