Haters gonna hate.
V-Diva is one of the most intriguing characters in roller derby to me. On the East Coast, she has been perceived as something of ‘The Villain’ of roller derby. People cheer when she goes to the box; they are elated if she fouls out. On the West Coast, and at Championships, she is revered as a Goddess among mortals.
I think we all forget that this woman, who is almost myth-like in her stature and presence, came from humble roots in the coal region of Pennsylvania. So many want to hate her for natural skill, not realizing that she was not always as refined as she is now. She, too, had to work hard to be where she's at.
2012 and the Philly Roller Girls have been very good to V-Diva. She has capitalized on their training and their direction. She’s become a leader and a pillar of the Liberty Belles and it’s really fascinating to compare her finesse on the track today to how it was a year ago. Her teamwork with skaters like Antidote and Shenita Stretcher is really fun to watch.
Philly understands that what some spectators see as ego is actually just confidence gained over hours of working on footwork and strategy. Love her or hate her, you cannot deny that V-Diva is one of the top skaters in modern roller derby (and probably will be for many, many seasons).
Try to hit her: You bounce. Try to guide her out of bounds: She pushes through. Try to play jammer-on-jammer: .. well I actually have not seen anyone try that for a while. Her endurance is ridiculous and you can see that she loves being told three jams in a row to just stay on the track with the star. Against Boston or Bay Area. I mean, really? Who does that? While two seasons ago, her feet stayed planted to the floor and she used sheer force to push through walls, now she can dance and hop around skaters with grace.
What can you say about the woman who won MVP for the Liberty Belles? She was a crucial piece of their puzzle this year. People are always going to be extra critical of those at the top. They are going to over-analyze every look to the audience, every gesture, every smile.
So I have this to say to Diva: Take it all as a compliment – it means that they don’t want to see you skate against their team because they know you’re a monster on the track. Here’s to 2013.
Diva is a phenomenal coach and we’re really lucky to have access to her drills – she’s tough but she’s fun. Everyone comes out of practice sweaty and having practiced skills they never have been able to before. She was a key jammer and blocker, she’s just lethal. – The Cycrone, Philly Roller Girls
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