This interview appears in ALARM #40. Subscribe here to get your copy!
If you think of dudes and disco music when you think of roller skates, think again. Tough chicks are sweeping the nation with roller derby, a contact sport on skates that is more gladiator than glamorous — and they like it that way. We caught up with Chicago’s Alisa “Sargentina” DePedro, Windy City Rollers all-star. The hard-hitter took off her helmet and pads for ALARM to talk about hangover scrimmages and thigh circumference.
What’s the most bad-ass part of roller derby?
Knowing that strong is beautiful. Comparing thigh circumference to see whose thigh is bigger. Going against the social norms to create our own goals for our bodies. Watching the sport we love grow and become truly international. It would be easier to come up with what is the least bad-ass part of roller derby.
What music gets you amped up before a bout?
“Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen.
How did you derive your nickname, “Sargentina”?
“Sarge” was a nickname from childhood, and my family is from Argentina. I thought it was a great fit to bring them both together. I love being called Sarge.
You’re part of Chicago’s biking community. What do you ride?
I’m in love with my road bike. I have a Trek Madone, and it’s sick. I just rode in the Bike MS: Tour de Farms in June in support of a great friend of mine who was diagnosed with MS. My Trek got me through 75 tough miles.
What’s your post-bout cocktail of choice?
PBR tall boys and a shot of Jamo.
How do you and the team celebrate a victory?
We usually have what’s called a “hangover scrimmage” the next day against the same team, so we celebrate quickly and then get some sleep so we can be victorious again the next day. If we are lucky enough to have the next day off, we’ll coordinate an outfit and win the after-party too. In San Francisco last year, we all wore mom jeans and big bangs and entered the after-party en masse as the Midwest Moms.