Updates, Interviews, Good Stuff

WOJ Makes History with 4th World Championship Title

Portland, OR (November 2019):
This weekend, the Rose City Roller’s Wheels of Justice (WOJ) made history by claiming their fourth International Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) Championship. For the first time in WFTDA history, the championship tournaent was held internationally, in Montreal, Québec. Last Friday, top teams from all over the globe arrived to compete – including 2×4 Roller Derby of Argentina, and Victorian Roller Derby of Australia.
Because of Rose City’s consistent wins and undefeated 2019 season, the team was awarded a bye. Their first game on Friday night was against Philly Roller Derby, and WOJ won with a handsome margin – the final score sitting at 205 – 50.
Up-and-coming WOJ Jammer, Eve Anne Hellical, jukes around Philly Blockers with speed and agility during the teams first game of the tournament. (Photography Credit: Quick’N’Derby Photography)
The following day would see WOJ taking on Arch Rival Roller Derby, of St. Louis, MO. Arch Rival, holding #5 overall ranking, has been on the rise for several seasons – and were they incredibly strong contenders throughout the tournament. Though they fought the good fight, WOJ took the win once again in this exciting game, with a score of 155-95.
The final game of the tournament saw a familiar match-up: Rose City vs Gotham Roller Derby of NYC. Gotham is the only team to hold more championship titles than WOJ, with five to their four. The last time WOJ and Gotham competed in finals was 2016, the second time Rose took the championship title. Incidentally, this was also the year that RCR hosted the international tournament on their home turf, at the Memorial Coliseum right here in PDX.
WOJ co-captain and derby veteran Bonnie Thunders bursts through a wall of Philly Blockers as she racks up points. (Photography Credit: Quick’N’Derby Photography)
The team did not step into this final game blindly. “We prepared so thoroughly for this tournament. With many counter strategies that we expected to see from our opponents,” says Nicole “Bonnie Thunders” Williams, Co-Captain to the team. “We focused on picking up where the last game ended. The team kept getting more cohesive with every game – I couldn’t be more proud of every single member.”
WOJ approached the game with that exact determination and cohesion. The first quarter held some excitement, as the teams traded points, but a penalty on a Gotham jammer gave WOJ the chance to build some momentum and take a significant lead. They were able to maintain this lead throughout the remainder of the game. A strong defensive strategy, along with powerful and agile Jammers allowed WOJ to keep Gotham at bay – with only 65 points scored to WOJ’s 145. This win secured the Hydra‘s home in Portland for yet another year.
Roller Derby returns to Portland later this month, with a handful of Home Team pre-season fundraiser bouts. Many of the All Stars who competed in this Championship also play locally on Home Teams – it’s a great opportunity to see them in action. Click here to see our full schedule.
Interviews, B-Roll and photography are available upon request. Please reach out to marketing@rosecityrollers.com with any inquiries.
About Rose City Rollers:
The Rose City Rollers is 501(c)3 charitable organization that serves nearly 600 of Portland’s women, girls and non-binary individuals who want to play the team sport of roller derby, connect with an inclusive community, and realize their power both on skates and off.