Photo by Thomas Nardini
Suzy Hotrod. Bonnie Thunders. Jackie Daniels. Juke Boxx.
The best of the best are in Milwaukee this weekend. The best of what? The best of women’s roller derby. The top 12 teams in the country will converge on the U.S. Cellular Arena to battle for the hydra, the championship trophy in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association’s championship.
From our May 2013 feature on the Brewcity Bruisers:
The WFTDA oversees 176 member leagues and 103 apprentice leagues (leagues-in-training). Its top 40 teams (the Bruisers are ranked 32nd) compete in divisional playoffs, and the top 12 will compete in Milwaukee for the title. “It’s going to really put Milwaukee on the map,” [Shari] Comstock says.
The Bruisers have been a full-fledged member of WFTDA since 2008, less than three years after holding their first practice in December 2005. “If you could put on roller skates, you were in,” says Emily Sokol, who skates under the name Milwaukee’s Breast. Christina Blanchard (aka Servin’ Justice) recalls how, during that first year, she coached women who couldn’t skate unless their hands gripped the side wall.
The article looks at just how far the Bruisers have come – from staging fights during bouts to holding the championships this year. It’s been no small feat. And the sport itself has undergone a change during that same period – from a fringe activity to a bonafide sport competing for a spot in the Olympic games. Consider that article a primer for this weekend’s action.