Genoa skater set for roller derby
Local roller derby fans will have an opportunity to see Genoa skater Jolie D’Ascoli compete on Saturday in Carson City.
D’Ascoli skates with the Carson Victory Rollers, who will be battling the Norcal Growlers at 4 p.m. in the Carson Community Center Gym.
The bill will also feature the Sierra All Stars and the Hella Organic Rollers.
D’Ascoli, or Deadamame, recently attended the third annual Roller Derby World Cup, representing the Japan team, and noted what a universal sport women’s roller derby has become.
She entered the world of derby the summer of 2011. She originally began with the Tahoe Derby Dames, but now frequently drops in for practices with the Carson Victory Rollers. Her allegiance is technically with the Sierra Regional Roller Derby team, which encompasses all the best athletes from Northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe. Her position is a jammer, and man can she jam. She recently had the opportunity to travel to Manchester, England, to represent her Japanese heritage at the Roller Derby World Cup.
“Roller derby is one of the fastest growing sports for women right now,” said D’Ascoli. “We had 38 countries represented at the World Cup. There was also one indigenous team, that was the first time indigenous nations worldwide had come together to form a team.”
The Japan team placed 30 out of the 38 countries. The United States placed first, Australia second. Japan played Poland, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Finland.
“We won against the Czech Republic. It was the first international win for team Japan,” said D’Ascoli. “Half the girls were crying, just out of pure ‘Oh my god we actually did it.’ To come together, to play together, to be a team, you don’t always have to be No. 1 at every single thing you do, every single time. Sometimes that’s not the point.”
D’Ascoli descends from Japanese parents, but was born and raised in the United States. She speaks Japanese fluently, which was useful for translating between team members. Women are able to join teams via their heritage. There was a mix of Japanese nationals who live and work there, and then women from all over the world. The Japanese team had representatives from Ireland, Vermont, Philadelphia, Chicago, Tokyo, and of course, Carson City.
“Our particular team needed translating, not everyone had Japanese or English,” said D’Ascoli. “Roller derby at the bottom of it, is universal. You could probably play with anyone, from anywhere, and still play together without having a big language barrier. It’s just really understood.”
Roller derby is a sport for women, by women. Most teams are completely volunteer based on the time and energy of the team. D’Ascoli explains what she loves about the sport is its ability to bring together all different kinds of women, of all different shapes and sizes, and its ability to defy stereotypes as a full contact sport made up of confident, strong, athletic women.
“I never would have thought when I started playing here locally, that this sport would lead me to play for a national team, and to play at a national level. I just never would have imaged that, and I’m so grateful for the amazing players and people that surround me here in Carson.”