“I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.”
In three days, a new page will be added to sports history books. The first women’s Roller Derby World Cup will be held from Thursday, Dec. 1, to Sunday, Dec. 4, in Toronto, hosted by Toronto Roller Derby. Teams and players from more than a dozen countries worldwide will be represented, including the United States.
Blood & Thunder, a roller derby magazine produced in Philadelphia, organized the event. Tickets priced as high as $125 are nearly sold out.
Team USA is made up of the best skaters from Portland, Ore., to Tampa Bay, and Philadelphia.
To give you an idea of the caliber of players involved, Suzy Hotrod of Gotham Girls Roller Derby in New York City is scheduled to play for Team USA. She was featured in ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue in October. The picture of Hotrod, a jammer, looking like she was carved out of stone and wearing only roller skates, is enough to make any blocker quake with fear.
The tournament is not an official Women’s Flat Track Derby Association event, but the association has members on all 13 teams competing, which is not surprising because WFTDA has 124 member leagues and more than twice that many teams.
The inaugural men’s FIFA World Cup, which took place in 1930, also had teams representing 13 countries. The first FIFA Women’s World Cup did not take place until more than 60 years later.
Men’s Roller Derby Association, the opposite sex’s WFTDA equivalent, has just 18 member leagues. As far as I can find, there are no plans in the works yet for a men’s Roller Derby World Cup, but hopefully they will not have to wait 60 years for it.
In a world where men dominate women in popularity in nearly every sport, it’s nice to know there’s one sport in which women get most of the glory.
Team USA will battle New Zealand Roller Derby and Team Scotland in the opening round of bouts.
In 1930, the United States’ team made it to the semifinals, but it was the home team, Uruguay, that became the first nation to win the World Cup. In 2011, Toronto has the home field advantage. But of all the countries participating, the United States has possibly the largest pool of players to choose from, which puts them in a good position to come home with gold.
To view live coverage of Blood & Thunder’s 2011 Roller Derby World Cup, visit derbynewsnetwork.com.