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Local roller derbier brings home gold in the sport’s World Cup

Photo courtesy R.L. Robertson

Snohomish derbier Lacey Ramon skates in the Team USA and Friends Scrimmage in Seattle on Jan. 20.

SNOHOMISH — Behind Lacey Ramon’s alter ego is an amazing accomplishment.
The Snohomish Fitness Center co-owner and self-described introverted nerd recently returned from Manchester, England, after skating her way to a gold medal at the Roller Derby World Cup.
Ramon, known on the roller derby circuit as Carmen Getsome of the Rat City Rollergirls, is now a two-time World Cup winner. She took to the track with Team USA, which has won all three of the international events.
She had to outskate more than 400 competitors to earn her spot on the elite team. Team USA in turn knuckled down for a non-stop series of matches among 38 teams during the competition Feb. 1 to 4. It came down to USA against Australia and a 187-146 finish.
Ramon showed off her fiercely competitive side to make the team and trounce the competition but said one of her
greatest pleasures in Manchester was seeing young women she had trained on the track.
“I enjoy coaching as much as I enjoy competing,” said Ramon, who also coached cross country and track at Centennial Middle School last year.
“Winning gold was really awesome but the parade of nations where every country got to walk around the venue… to see hard work and passion,” was another highlight Ramon said.
Ramon has also enjoyed seeing how the sport has grown the last few years. The first World Cup in 2011 pitted 13
teams against each other: the 2014 derby boasted 30, and this year 38 teams vied for the world’s top team designation.
While she said the field was increasingly competitive, Ramon’s experience gave her and the team an edge.
“Carmen Getsome is a pioneer in the sport of roller derby. She tried out for Rat City after seeing one bout in June of 2006 and has been killing it on the flat (and banked) track ever since,” wrote the team in a Facebook post.
“I just sort of bumped into it,” Ramon said. She had played collegiate soccer but not found anything competitive to do after college, until a coworker’s accident inadvertently introduced her to the rough-and-tumble sport.
“I worked at a physical therapy office, and a woman who skated blew her knee out and had to have major reconstructive surgery. So, she invited me, I went to watch, and she was there on her crutches.” When her coworker asked what Ramon thought, she answered with a question: “How do I try out?”
“I tell people all the time I’m like the grandma of the sport,” Ramon said. “I’m getting to the peak and know I’ll soon be handing the torch off.”
Ramon doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon, though. “Hopefully we’ll get some type of training time, where we get to travel somewhere and help leagues develop, like to South America, that would be fun,” she said. In the meantime, she inspires her clients at Snohomish Fitness and practices with Rat City Roller Derby four times a week.
Ramon’s professional and personal lives are intertwined: husband Vito Ramon co-owns the gym and coaches at Rat City, though they actually met through school friends before Vito
got involved in roller derby.
As a veteran in the sport, Lacey Ramon has some advice for newcomers: “I think it’s really important to remember not to compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to the things you could do yesterday, so things that were hard yesterday are now really easy.”
She challenges herself too. She’s earned two bachelor’s degrees and owns her own business in addition to the intensive work she does in roller derby.
The business, Snohomish Fitness Center, came about unexpectedly, when she found an opportunity while helping her sister with a job search. “I came home and told my husband we were buying a gym. He told me I was insane, and I probably was,” Lacey Ramon said.
Crazy or not, the center is going strong and she has injected her go-for-the-gold spirit into its activities. February’s event was the Snohomish Olympics where clients represented the country they associate their heritage with and competed for prizes. Activities such as taking a class or working out in the yard all counted.
While Ramon is still engrossed with Rat City Roller Derby and her gym, she’s not sure yet if the future will bring her another derby cup run. “Two years (until the next one) is a long time. Like I said I’m getting old and there are some amazing 18-year-olds out there,” she said.


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