This year was the first ever Roller Derby World Cup. It wasn’t put on by any official organization, just a roller derby magazine. They chose to hold the event in Toronto. When I learned about it early in 2011, I decided I could probably afford to go to either Rollercon or the World Cup to shoot footage for my roller derby culture documentary. The World Cup seemed likely to have more significant historical value, so I chose that one.
I then made travel arrangements to go from San Diego to Toronto and back. You see, San Diego is the city where we expected to be living, as part of the 12 Cities, 1 Year project. Unfortunately, our best-laid plans were thrown into a tailspin when we learned Beth had cancer. Our travels went on hold, and we returned to Denver. I assumed I would need to drop my plans to go to Toronto, so I could stay with Beth for moral support. My airline tickets were mostly bought with reward points, and my hotel would be refundable, and I never actually bought tickets to the tournament because I knew I could get in for free. But Beth said she thought I should go. “This is the first one ever, and you should be there,” she told me.
Changing my travel arrangements turned out to take two or three hours of clicking and phone calls, plus a few hundred dollars. But I made it. The official events of the tournament were scheduled for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I arrived at the hotel very late Tuesday night, and made it over to the venue late Wednesday morning.
I had a terrible day, the details of which I won’t list here. But it was stressful, unproductive, sad, and expensive. However, before the day went downhill, I was staking out the building where I’d spend most of the next five days, and watching some roller derby teams practice. A local Toronto news team was there, doing story on the event. And since I was also there on a media pass, I struck up a conversation with them – the camera guy and the on-air talent. They didn’t know anything about roller derby, so I filled them in on the basic rules, a little history, etc. Since I seemed to know what was going on, they interviewed me.
That night, I was on TV in Toronto. Here is the news segment they broadcasted. As Bob LaRue later pointed out, this means I can now cite myself as a recognized expert on the topic of roller derby in my own roller derby film. Ha ha! I just think that idea is hilarious.