Pearly Gates—Sweet speed demon

Photo: Beverly Poppe

Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL Age: 28

Profession: Roller girl with Notorious VIPs, the Fabulous Sin City Roller Girls

Profile: As a “jammer,” Gates races in a pack of eight roller-derby girls, scoring points by passing girls from the opposite team. As a member of the Notorious VIPs—the little rich girls who hang out at clubs—Gates is the perfectly innocent one among them. In shiny gold hot pants, fish nets and her uniform jersey, No. 7i (the square root of a negative and therefore an imaginary number), Gates is clearly also a good little student. “I used to have a halo, but my cat ate it.”

Why I do what I do: “I really like to go fast! I wish that when I was a kid that I had seen this and known it to be a possibility. After a game, 10-year-old girls come up and ask for my autograph, and that’s the best feeling. If I didn’t have roller derby in my life, it would be really empty.”

Personal tidbit: Gates and her sisters show up in force monthly for the Down & Derby roller-disco party at Beauty Bar, the next of which goes off this Friday, March 20. With no one throwing elbows this time, and with hip-checks that are only playful, D&D has teams setting aside their rivalries for one night

What I’m listening to: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, by Neko Case

Latest accomplishment: After close defeats in four matches, the Notorious VIPs just scored their first-ever victory over the Tommy Gun Terrors, Vegas’ other roller-derby home team. With one particular “jam,” Gates put the team in the lead, and the team brought it home after that. “It’s about damn time we won!”

Quote: The official SSRG code of conduct: “What happens on the track stays on the track.”

Sound interesting to you ladies? Join Pearly and the gals for Newbie Night, the first Wednesday of every month, 7 p.m. at West Flamingo Park on Flamingo and Jones. E-mail [email protected]. They have plenty of extra gear and no experience is necessary, though Gates adds, “Having some natural aggression is more important that knowing how to skate.”


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