'Windy City Rollers' roller derby group

April 18, 2008 8:09:00 AM PDT
By day they make livings as lawyers, in public relations and some attend school. But in their spare time, they are known by their alter-egos as they compete on wheels. They are members of Chicago's all-female fast-track roller derby league, the Windy City Rollers.As they rumble around the track they generate memories of the glory days of the roller derbies. They're members of the Windy City Rollers, and they represent the sports newest era.

"I'm a woman of action. I don't play around. I'm not passive about things. I'm pretty aggressive, and so, I thought, 'Well, there's not one in Chicago. I'd better make it happen,'" said Elizabeth Gomez, co-founder of the Juanna Rumbel team.

Gomez made it happen four years ago. Since that start with a hand full of skaters, a full-fledged league has developed with a national reputation.

Kim Elsham, a press relations specialist, is new to the team.

"Well, I used to be an athlete when I was younger. I'm 6' 1". So, I played a lot of basketball, a lot of volleyball, and I'm really excited to have the chance to be an athlete again," said Elsham, a Ruth Enasia member.

Competitively, the Windy City Rollers have made dramatic progress. Last year, they were ranked 22nd in the nation. This year they stand in the seventh position.

"You take a beating out there, and you know, if your team's not doing well, or you played badly, you know you have to have a strong head on your shoulders and stay in it," said Alice Gleason, Malice With Chains team captain.

Molly Wretzky is an attorney.

"I think more attorneys find it odd that I roller derby than the opposite. Because people that play roller derby are so diverse that you could be up against a teacher, a social worker. So, we're not so surprised by each others lives as our outside lives are surprised by the fact that we play roller derby, " Wretzky of the Ying O'Fire said.

For more information about the Windy City Rollers and their schedule of competitions, log on to www.windycityrollers.com.


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