Last month, upon reporting the news that seven of the 28 skaters on the Team USA roster for the first-ever Roller Derby World Cup in Toronto are from Colorado, we wondered aloud if the World Cup was shaping up to be an international incident concluding with a red, white, and blue beatdown at the hands of the American squad. Yesterday's announcement that Frida Beater (a star jammer from the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls' 5280 Fight Club, aka Arvada police officer Portia Hensley) will be one of the Team USA co-captains confirmed our predictions that the Colorado contingent will be leading the fight. Beater is best known for scoring the buzzer-beating points in an underdog victory over the Oly Rollers from Olympia, Washington, to win the Hydra Trophy at the 2010 Women's Flat Track Derby Association WFTDA Championships.
"I have been a leader with RMRG for a few years and was co-captain when we won the championship, and I'm excited Team USA chose me to take on the responsibility," Beater told Westword. "I'm looking forward to helping lead our team to a World Cup victory."
Beater's 5280 Fight Club squad is currently ranked #2 in the WFTDA's West Region (behind Oly and ahead of the Denver Roller Dolls) as they head into the Bridgetown Brawl West Region Playoffs, September 23-25 in Portland, OR. She brings five years of roller derby experience, a lifetime of training and competition as a speed skater, and some time in the college rugby scrum to the Team USA gig, making her a perfect choice to help lead the squad. Check out her "Meet Team USA" profile at www.DerbyLife.com for more on what makes her a ticking time bomb.
She'll share the helm with Captain Joy Collision from Baltimore's Charm City Rollergirls, Co-Captain Suzy Hotrod from New York's Gotham Girls Roller Derby, and Assistant Captain Nadia "Smarty Pants" Kean from the Texas Rollergirls when the Rollery Derby World Cup gets under way in Toronto December 2-4. They'll face teams from Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Finland, Sweden, France, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Argentina in the World Cup competition.
And while Beater says she's confident Team USA will come out on top, she adds that the World Cup may not be a blowout, and concedes that she may be partly to blame: She recently traveled to New Zealand and the U.K. as a coach helping international skaters, and has been involved in efforts to introduce and promote roller derby worldwide.
"There's definitely going to be serious competition, and everyone's taking it really seriously," she says. "We have a longer history of roller derby, and we have some amazing skaters on our team, but we also have a big disadvantage: We're really only going to have two days of practice with the whole team between now and the World Cup."
Beater is planning to make up for that fact by rallying her local troops as frequently as possible: The other Colorado skaters on Team USA include Beater's 5280 Fight Club teammates Amanda Jamitinya, DeRanged, Psycho Babble and Urrk'n Jerk'n, and her crosstown rivals Heather Juska and Tracy "Disco" Akers from the Denver Roller Dolls' Mile High Club.
Local fans will have several opportunities to see Beater doing some beating before the World Cup: 5280 Fight Club will skate in a bout against the San Diego Derby Dolls at the Fillmore Auditorium on October 1, and they're a favorite heading into the Continental Divide and Conquer 2011 WFTDA Championships, hosted this year by the Denver Roller Dolls at 1STBANK Center November 11-13.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.