Salmo’s Babes of Brutality roller-derby sensation Bobbi “Boretta Lynch” Barbarich just rolled out of one of the most grueling and exciting competitions on eight wheels.
The Nelson resident skated to a silver medal with Team Canada at the recent World Cup of Roller Derby in Toronto on Sunday bowing to world superpower the U.S.A., 336-33.
“They (the U.S. team) are modern-day legends, all of them,” said Barbarich from Toronto on Monday. “Seeing all these things that we’ve been working on and learning about for years, they just do it with such efficiency, grace, strength and speed, it was just an incredible thing to see and be part of.”
Competitors from 13 countries worldwide traveled to Toronto for the event, coming from as far away as New Zealand and Australia. More than 300 skaters and hundreds of international volunteers, referees, and non-skate officials took part in the inaugural event and teams played to sold-out crowds at the old Canadian Armed Forces supply depot throughout the weekend.
“The most amazing moment though was after the games when we’d go around and slap peoples’ hands around the track,” she said. “Those were snippets I just wanted to hold in my brain forever.”
The U.S. team dominated, winning every game by triple digits, but Canada also went through the tournament undefeated, beating France, Sweden, Brazil and Finland in the round robin before ending England’s run in the semifinal, 161-90.
“Portions of our team had practiced together but that Thursday morning was the first time we were all in the same room at the same time together, so everyone was justifiably concerned how the team would gel.”
For a team that did not practice together until the day of the tournament, Canada hit the track and performed brilliantly decisively winning their first game against France, 244-17.
“Having not played together . . . what was so surprising was how smooth it went and how good it felt on the track having those people beside you,” said Barbarich.
The West Kootenay Women’s Roller Derby player is usually a jammer for the Babes of Brutality but for Team Canada she took the blocker position for most games and would occasionally jam when the team needed to throw something new at the opposition.
Despite the loss to the U.S., Canada scored twice as many points against them than all other teams combined.
The Roller Derby World Cup will go again in two years, and Barbarich is intent on participating, seeing how other nations progress and resuming new and old friendships.
“I’m sad it’s over but also totally excited as to where the sport is going, and that we made history this weekend,” she added.
“We had a storybook weekend.”