The setting: Downsview Park. Quiet. Isolated. Remotely located north of Toronto. From 4pm onward, cars slowly creep over to one of the buildings at 75 Carl Hall Rd. Passengers disembark loaded TTC buses and patiently gather by the door. Inside, ladies stretch, decorate, set up, skate.
Around 7pm the sh*t hits the fan.
A crowd of over 1100 cheers wildly as the Gore-Gore Rollergirls and the Smoke City Betties enter the track, each team thrilled and determined to win the Boot. The Gores are looking to reclaim the trophy they won in 2007, but lost in 2008, while the Betties want payback for their only loss this season.
The whistle blows and their off! A hard-hitting, fast skating period ensues, with each team giving as good as they got. The Gores gained a lead early on in the first period, and skated hard to keep it. The Betties, not to get discouraged, gave it their all and started dishing out hits left, right and center, to the thunderous roar of the crowd. The period ended with the Gores ahead 62 – 41 with a skater in the penalty box for each team.
There was much resting and strategic planning over halftime. The crowd remained entertained by the supreme breakdancing skillz of the Fly Antics Crew. The merch line was overwhelmed with people craving their own little piece of ToRD. Before you knew it, halftime was over and it was time for the final half.
Skating their hearts out, both teams clammoured for the winning spot. The Betties came on strong early in the second half, trying to close the gap on the Gores, who retaliated in the following jams to increase their lead. The Gores held their lead through to the end, but not without difficulty – the Betties kept right on them, forcing everyone to put out their best. The last whistle blew and the crowd went wild! Gores take the boot, 129-88.
CONGRATULATIONS to the Gores on their win in an action-packed 2009! You gave it your all and it paid off.
Above photograph taken and provided by David Artemiw. For more photos from the bout, visit his website.