Roller derby players compete during the L.A. Derby Dolls women’s banked track roller derby event in Los Angeles, California on September 24, 2016.
Roller derbies have been making a comeback in the U.S. and worldwide since the early 2000s. But few realize that the sport dates back to the 1930s, and that early iterations were a bit like WWE — as much about theatrics as they were about skating.
The Charm City Roller Girls roller derby team is used to bruises, fractures, sprains, tears, and all manner of pain. This is the price derby athletes willingly pay for the exhilaration of the sport. Women undergo a grueling 10-week boot camp to learn the basics before trying out for the league. It may take more than a year of mastering further skills to be drafted to a team. Roller Girls train hard for long hours to stay in shape, improve, and avoid injuries.