Category: Skater of the Month

Skater of the Month: Andy Rodriguez

Gathered around the festive cornucopia that graces the planks of our Thanksgiving table this year- replete with seasonal squashes, corn and a freshly slaughtered turkey from the nearby woodlands- the folks of the Denver Derby community will be straightening their linen bonnets and steepling their hands in gratitude for RMRG’s Skater of the Month, Andy Rodriguez.

During the herculean task of trying to prepare the new shared warehouse space on Delaware Street, Andy has been a consistent and generous presence far beyond what anyone could have asked of him. Our Rocky Skater Motorbutt says, “Andy has hooked us up with some sweet networking and audio setup at Delaware at his own expense. He never takes a vacation or a day off, and takes care of everyone else before himself.”
This is clearly illustrated by the two 2 major ankle injuries Andy sustained during construction, after which he wouldn’t quit running wire or getting us better shop vacs. He even provided food and beverages for the subcontractors and volunteers and is always a reliably cheerful presence.

Originally hailing from California and Texas (which we’ll overlook), Andy owns and runs a successful IT company and loves fast cars and racing. He drives his Nissan GTR everywhere he can. He enjoys camping, off-roading in his tricked out 4Runner (which looks like it could be prepping for a space mission), photography/meme making, and trying new breweries. He has been a part of RMRG since 2014 and carries the honorary title of “[Red Riding] Hood Daddy.”
To you, Andy, RMRG offers our deepest thanks for illustrating such generosity of spirit and support in making our new home as wonderful as it is. Thank you for going above and beyond and then slightly above that beyond. Rocky Mountain Rollergirls couldn’t have asked for a better friend to the league and our sport in general. Bonnets off to you!

Skater of the Month: Sylvia’s Wrath

If you’re looking for a real role model and Superhero to dress up as on Halloween, might we point you in the direction of RMRG Skater of the Month, Sylvia’s Wrath.

Sylvie was nominated for October Skater of the Month after wrestling the 2018 RMRG/DRD September Shenanigans Fundraiser Bout into order, but that is just the tip of her achievements and hard work for the league. Starting her derby career in 2012 with the Wreckin’ Roller Rebels, she transferred to Rocky in 2013, and was immediately drafted to the Sugar Kill Gang where she fit right in with the Sugar’s rambunctious style of fun. She began serving as an RMRG ambassador to new skaters and became our insurance coordinator, and in 2018 became the head of the NeRD committee.

Ms. Wrath is a teacher and puts in many additional hours with extracurricular activities, running her school’s theater program and helping students prep for the Shakespeare Festival. She leads the GSA (Gay/ Strait Alliance) group there as well, and her derby wife Harper Bizarre describes Sylvie as, “passionate about the strength and intelligence of those students, and the work they’re doing.”

A supportive and intimidating skater (read “will literally block your socks off”), she plays with both the Contenders and 5280 Fight Club. Sylvie spreads this athletic ability around by also coaching the floor hockey team at her school and spending the winter off season tearing up the Colorado slopes on her snowboard. In her spare time when she isn’t teaching, derbying, or bending steel girders with her hands, Sylvie enjoys finding quiet places to observe nature. She’s an all-around animal lover, friend to dogs and cats and has recently become a muskrat viewing aficionado after discovering a family of them living near her home on the Platte during one of her walks.

With her immense dedication to the sport, loyalty to her people, her investments to her community and brassy jocularity, Sylvie is already our hero. Now get ahead of the curve and get your Sylvia’s Wrath Costume this Halloween and make her yours too!

(Sylvia’s Wrath Costume comes complete with an auburn A-line wig, yoga pants and voice synthesizer to make all your “Trick or Treats,” come out in Sylvie’s signature throaty timbre. Steely gaze sold separately).

Skater of the Month: Animal Style

Autumn and cooler weather are right around the corner, so it’s no coincidence our September Skater of the Month, Animal, is so very chill. Despite having trepidation about derby because she hadn’t skated since middle school, Animal became an RMRG member after passing tryouts in August of 2017, joining a summer Freshmeat class.

Animal is an easy figure to spot during the first hour reserved for the newer skaters, her solid figure usually clad in a burgundy tank top, working through the pack. Her laid back demeanor is a hallmark on the bench, track, or in her committees of HR and Event Planning. Animal was an important part of coordinating Rocky’s 2018 bout at Denver County Fair (one of our favorite but forever uniquely odd venues, that always presents its own set of idiosyncratic challenges).

Animal is not only a great contribution to the derby community, she also represents another important demographic; those who have struggled with substances and are overcoming. September is National Recovery month, and Animal, an individual that has fought with substance abuse, has offered to share her story:
“I left my parents’ house for the first time when I was 16. I began drinking heavily and smoking pot and doing pills in middle school and it quickly progressed. I struggled with homelessness since the age of 16 between here and California. I got sober at age 24.”

An integral part of Animal’s sobriety was sports, something that she was always passionate about, but lost in active addiction. She joined a sober sports league and when a friend encouraged her to try derby last year she figured she’d give it a shot. While Roller Derby is by no means a dry sport, Animal found the community and the sport itself a mainstay in helping her stay active and happy:
“Since being with RMRG I have been able to challenge myself both physically and mentally. This sport is AMAZING. While skating with Rocky I have met an amazing group of strong, passionate, compassionate, and supportive people.”

We thank Animal for her story. Such narratives are not always easy things for people to share, and stories like Animal’s are vital to normalizing and bringing to light an issue that affects more than 29.5 million people worldwide.

Animal says, “over the years I have become very honest and open about my recovery. It is something I am very proud of myself for. I have been shown nothing but love and support from everyone in the League. I am so grateful that I was introduced to this sport and the comradery that it brings.”

We are thankful to have Animal as a part of Rocky Mountain Rollergirls and would like to take this time to celebrate her and also to ask that you reflect on her parting words: “There is hope. Recovery is possible, and there is a beautiful life waiting after addiction. We are all fighting battles that no one knows anything about, and there is no shame in being a warrior.”

Please read Experience, Strength and Roller Skates: Sobriety in Roller Derby and visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Website.