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Featured Skater: Pippi StrongWhomping

Pippi Strongwhomping skating through a group of blockers.
Photo by Jim Dier

Name: Pippi StrongWhomping

Number: 10

Team/League History: I have been with KRD for the entirety of my derby career!

Year you became involved in roller derby: 2017

How did you get involved with roller derby? I was invited to watch my first ever bout (shout out to Skatin) KRD vs Kingsford Krush and the very next day was a fresh meat recruitment day. I showed back up the following day, put on some skates, and have been skating ever since!

Where are you from originally? Born in Escanaba, but was raised in troll country. Moved back to the UP for good in 2006.

Name a fun little known fact about you: I have my degree in Interior Design, but haven’t practiced design in about 15 years and I used to fly gliders.

How did you pick your name? I have always been a fan of Pippi Longstocking books and since I’m a ginger, I had to have a derby name that went along with that. I always wear my hair in braids with tall colorful socks with extra freckles for bout days!

What is your pre-derby sports/skating background? I had a pair of quad skates that you buckled over your sneakers when I was like 4 and then, of course, I rollerbladed through the 90’s!

Please tell us about your rookie year and how you learned to play or officiate roller derby? Oh my rookie year was so fun! I tried on skates at a fresh meat recruitment and then took KRD’s fresh meat course in the fall of 2017. I started skating with the vets the following February and then was lucky enough to pass my minimum skills test and bout in my first bout with the team in either April or May of the 2018 season. I was pretty much terrified the entire time, it was fantastic!

Do you have a pre-game ritual? Drink tons of water and pee a lot, lol! Does that count?

Do you have a favorite motivational quote?  Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy! (kidding, I’m just a big Karate Kid fan)

What is your position of choice? Blocker, but I will fill in wherever needed. I’ll pivot, I’ll jam, I’ll cheer from the bench, just tell me where I am most useful!

What is your favorite drill at practice and why? Oh I have a love/hate relationship with footwork/lateral movement drills. I love them because I always need to work on them and I hate them because I ALWAYS need to work on them. I have the most fun with any type of scrimmage work though!

How would you describe your derby playing style? Solid/stable. I like to be difficult to move and I like to hit hard when I can!

Have you held any leadership positions in leagues? How have those positively impacted your personal roller derby career?  I am currently KRD’s skater rep and have been for a couple of seasons now. I am also on the training committee which allows me to stay involved and engaged in practices and help our team to improve, evolve, and grow.

What is your job outside of roller derby? And how, if at all, has it contributed to your experience of roller derby?  My husband/partner and I own a chiropractic office. He’s the chiropractor and I do everything else. Owning a business has contributed to my roller derby experience because it enables us to sponsor the team and also it indirectly led me to roller derby (we have a lot of roller derby patients, lol!)

What advice do you have for people who want to get involved in roller derby? Just give it a try! If you find that skating isn’t for you, just remember that roller derby wouldn’t be possible without all of our on and off skate volunteers and officials. There is always a place for you! 

Keeping with our 2024 season theme (A Decade of Derby), what is your personal favorite decade or era? Why?  I’m a 90’s girl at heart! Give me some 90’s alternative music, a concert tee, torn jeans, and a flannel shirt and I am a happy girl.

And lastly, favorite places in the Keweenaw?  There are too many to pick, pretty much anywhere I can camp with my family and get away from life for a few days!