U.S. pummels Canada to win roller derby title
Team Canada was aiming for the "biggest upset in roller derby history" against the U.S. on Sunday afternoon in the final of the sport's first world cup.
It was not to be. Still, even with a final score of 336-33, Canada racked up more points against the top-seeded Americans than any of the other teams in the tournament.
The second-seeded Canadians defeated England 161-90 in the semifinals earlier Sunday in Toronto to advance to the gold-medal contest, while the Americans thrashed Australia by a massive 532-4 margin.
England defeated Australia for the bronze earlier on Sunday.
Canada's co-captain, Kayla Wilkins, who plays under the nickname Brim Stone, said because it's the first world tournament of its kind, teams don't have a solid sense of their opponents' abilities.
"It's a very weird position to be in where you don't know a lot about your opponents at all," she said. "I think that if we were to beat the U.S. team, that would be the biggest upset in roller derby history. They're the fiercest competitors for sure."
The sport was revived a decade ago in Texas, and while the mechanics resemble the 1970s version, much has changed to make it a serious, competitive undertaking. The track is no longer banked, and gone are the campy theatrics akin to the posturings of professional wrestling.
When the revival first began, "it was a lot of fishnets and the glory of having a cool name on your shirt," said Team Canada coach Ian Mackenzie. "It's now truly a very high, competitive sport."
Canada had only a handful of club teams at the start of the millennium. Now there are almost 100, from which 100 women tried out to represent Canada at the world cup. Twenty made the team, with the largest contingent of six coming from Montreal.
The event, which took place at Toronto's Downsview Park, began Thursday, with Canada vanquishing France 244-17 in the event's first contest.
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