Picture Stories
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What's the appeal of this bruising sport? Click launch to meet some players -- and their skating personas – and hear how they got into the sport, and what they get out of it.

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Tara Wood, who works at a platelet immunology lab by day, is known as Sybil Unrest on the track. The DLF Web site reveals that Sybil lives by the motto: "Smash the State - Learn to Skate." Click play to hear about the scene behind the scenes at a roller derby bout.

Tara Wood, who works at a platelet immunology lab by day, is known as Sybil Unrest on the track. The DLF Web site reveals that Sybil lives by the motto: "Smash the State - Learn to Skate." Click play to hear about the scene behind the scenes at a roller derby bout.

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Sandra Darling-Roberts, who goes by mommacherry on the track, is a single mom who runs an environmentally friendly house cleaning business. Her 6-year-old daughter often attends her derby practices and bouts, where she is mothered by the 70 sassy sisters of the Rat City Rollers. Darling-Roberts credits derby with helping her lose 50 pounds and flee a conventional world where she was a misfit. Click play to hear how being crazy keeps her sane.

Sandra Darling-Roberts, who goes by mommacherry on the track, is a single mom who runs an environmentally friendly house cleaning business. Her 6-year-old daughter often attends her derby practices and bouts, where she is mothered by the 70 sassy sisters of the Rat City Rollers. Darling-Roberts credits derby with helping her lose 50 pounds and flee a conventional world where she was a misfit. Click play to hear how being crazy keeps her sane.

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Celia Rehburg, who goes by Diva State on the track, learned to skate from her dad, a dance figure skater who needed a practice partner. Her specialty in the derby is blocking. Though quiet and unassuming in her day job as a travel nurse coordinator, her official derby biography claims she is retired from Interpol: "While she no longer carries a license to kill, she most certainly carries one to maim, pillage and plunder. It’s a license she’s not afraid to use." Click play to hear Rehburg discuss her Diva look.

Celia Rehburg, who goes by Diva State on the track, learned to skate from her dad, a dance figure skater who needed a practice partner. Her specialty in the derby is blocking. Though quiet and unassuming in her day job as a travel nurse coordinator, her official derby biography claims she is retired from Interpol: "While she no longer carries a license to kill, she most certainly carries one to maim, pillage and plunder. It’s a license she’s not afraid to use." Click play to hear Rehburg discuss her Diva look.

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Meghan Kapousouz, attends massage school by day, accompanied by two Rottweilers that pull her back and forth to class on her skates. A relative newcomer to the DLF, she skates under the name Meg MyDay. The lanky skater prides herself on her speed and excels as a jammer. Click play to hear Kapousouz talk about what it's like to be "fresh meat."

Meghan Kapousouz, attends massage school by day, accompanied by two Rottweilers that pull her back and forth to class on her skates. A relative newcomer to the DLF, she skates under the name Meg MyDay. The lanky skater prides herself on her speed and excels as a jammer. Click play to hear Kapousouz talk about what it's like to be "fresh meat."

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Mary McIntyre, an art student and bartender, started skating at the end of the disco skating trend. Now, as Burnett Down, she is tough and fast on the track, not afraid to tangle with her opponents. Her derby biography says she is a brainchild of the CIA, helping to explain her attraction to “speed, deception and brutal physical confrontation.” Click play to hear about her ongoing derby grudges.

Mary McIntyre, an art student and bartender, started skating at the end of the disco skating trend. Now, as Burnett Down, she is tough and fast on the track, not afraid to tangle with her opponents. Her derby biography says she is a brainchild of the CIA, helping to explain her attraction to "speed, deception and brutal physical confrontation." Click play to hear about her ongoing derby grudges.

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Michelle Witten, aka Kim Reaper, a documentary film editor, describes herself as "stealthy" on the track, reflecting her practice of hiding at the back of the pack and then slipping through. According to the official Derby Liberation Front biography, Reaper was born to a master swordswoman and a roller-disco gigolo, both of whom encouraged her from an early age to play with sharp objects. Click play to learn more about how Witten became involved in roller derby.

Michelle Witten, aka Kim Reaper, a documentary film editor, describes herself as "stealthy" on the track, reflecting her practice of hiding at the back of the pack and then slipping through. According to the official Derby Liberation Front biography, Reaper was born to a master swordswoman and a roller-disco gigolo, both of whom encouraged her from an early age to play with sharp objects. Click play to learn more about how Witten became involved in roller derby.

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Rachel Thornton skates for DLF under the moniker Hideous Braxley. The legend behind Hideous, her bio states, is that she is avenging the slaying of her people, a band of Latvian gypsies. By day, she is a lighting sales associate. Click play to hear why derby didn’t square with her mother’s expectations.

Rachel Thornton skates for DLF under the moniker Hideous Braxley. The legend behind Hideous, her bio states, is that she is avenging the slaying of her people, a band of Latvian gypsies. By day, she is a lighting sales associate. Click play to hear why derby didn’t square with her mother’s expectations.

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Antonia DiMillo hadn’t been on roller skates in 20 years when she saw an announcement for roller derby tryouts in Seattle. Now skating under the name Mathilda the Hun, taken from a tough girl in the classic film Death Race 2000, DiMillo prides herself on being a solid blocker. Click play to hear DiMillo explain how she got an unexpected view of derby from the fans’ perspective.

Antonia DiMillo hadn’t been on roller skates in 20 years when she saw an announcement for roller derby tryouts in Seattle. Now skating under the name Mathilda the Hun, taken from a tough girl in the classic film Death Race 2000, DiMillo prides herself on being a solid blocker. Click play to hear DiMillo explain how she got an unexpected view of derby from the fans’ perspective.

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Slide Show Start over Write us Images by Robert Hood
Text by Kari Huus
Multimedia Production Katie Cannon