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Roller derby team offers more than skating: ‘Cedar Rapids needs this team’



Cedar Rapids, Iowa – The Cedar Rapids Roller Girls’ Katie Kimmich described her life as being divided into two halves.

“I almost feel like I’ve got like a dual personalities. Like I’m Katie Kimmich off in my, you know, real-world job. And then I’m Kim-ikaze here,” she said.

Since 2011, Kimmich has been a member of the Cedar Rapids Roller Girls.

“This is my home away from home,” said Kimmich.

This team welcomes everyone, despite the label referring to Roller Girls.

“I went to one practice and the rest was history,” said team member John Fagan.

For some skaters, roller derby is more than just a thrilling sport; it’s a means of navigating life.

“When I first started the team, I was kind of going through like some hard stuff in life,” said Krystal Anderson. “It was definitely a good outlet.”

In Kimmich’s words, roller derby is for everyone, even though not everyone welcomes it.

“They accept me the way I am. Like, my sailor mouth, you know, the stuff that comes out of it,” joked Kimmich.

“I get asked all the time, ‘Why do you keep doing this? Why are you doing this?’ I’m like, well, because Cedar Rapids needs this team,” she added. “I mean, anyone in the community that doesn’t feel like they belong or just wants to try something new or something different.—I mean, we’re here, we’re open. And you know, we’re here for those people.”