Photo by Thorpeland Photography

Photo by Thorpeland Photography

GREAT WALL OF GINA #4000, THE WRECKING CREW

Do you have a favorite derby memory?

There are way too many to count. After 11 years, I feel like I’ve had a lifetime of amazing derby memories that I would not trade for the world. Off the top of my head, when I was with the Tallahassee RollerGirls and we made it to the South Central Regional Tournament for the first time in 2012. We were a small team and it was amazing to finally make it to a high-level tournament after working so hard. And we beat Houston Roller Derby (a team I really looked up to)…. I definitely cried when the last whistle blew during that game, I was so proud. Another favorite memory of mine was from last year when the Dallas Derby Devil's Army of Darkness competed in the International WFTDA Division 1 Tournament in Montreal. It was just such a cool experience biking around the city and eating poutine. Plus we played our hearts out all weekend and really showed the derby community what Dallas was all about. Last, but not least, at Rollercon in Las Vegas this year, for the first-time Team Korea played together against Team Philippines and won with a short roster! It was such a proud moment for me to represent my Korean heritage and wave that Korean flag during warm-ups. I can’t wait to be representing Korea during the Roller Derby World Cup in Manchester, England February 2018.

What are your non-derby hobbies/activities/hidden talents?

Before I started this roller derby adventure, I actually used to teach swing and ballroom dancing! I know how to do the lindy hop, balboa, shag, west coast swing, salsa, cha cha, etc! Other than that, I have always been super crafty and have been known to dabble in photography and graphic design (among other things).

Playing any sport is a huge commitment. How do you juggle that along with your life outside of derby?

Honestly magic mixed with a bit of tenacity (and several cups of coffee)! Roller derby can definitely take a lot of time and commitment on and off the track. However, when you are passionate about something like this, it really doesn’t feel that way. I’ve also been super fortunate to have a great support system with my family and amazing husband Mike.

Is there anything you're scared to try?

Without a doubt skydiving. I am definitely a thrill seeker, just can’t rationalize jumping out a plane with just a parachute strapped to my back!

If you could go back and talk to yourself as a newbie skater, what advice would you give her?

I would tell her a few things. First to believe in yourself (you are amazing, don’t forget that!). Yes, roller derby is hard and sometimes it won’t go according to plan or as quickly as you want it to, but in the end it’ll be one of the most rewarding and amazing adventures you’ve ever had. And second, to not try to be good at everything all at once, or compare yourself to the skater next to you. Instead choose 3 skills you want to perfect. Work on those every chance you get until you feel comfortable with those 3 skills. Once that happens, choose 3 more skills and then work on those. Never stop working!