June’s Skater of the Month is the Queen B’s very own kick-ass jammer Mirka Virolainen! Mirka’s interest in roller derby was initially stirred by a magazine article and by a nailbiter Finland versus Sweden game she witnessed. Eventually, she was lured into joining HRD’s freshmeat training period by her friend in autumn 2011. However, after the FT -period, Mirka had a six-month dry season with almost no derby at all. Luckily a Team USA bootcamp came to rescue and Mirka rediscovered her motivation! Now she is a vital part of our B-team as well as the home team Hurtta Lottas.
What Mirka loves best about roller derby, is its versatility and strategicness. ”Roller derby is a team sport, in which every skater plays an important part and has their own strengths,” she muses. Mirka started as a blocker, but after becoming a Queen B, she moved over to jamming. Currently she concentrates on becoming an even fiercer jammer and on polishing her overall skating skills. Mirka refuses to be pigeonholed though: ”Jamming is the thing for now, but it won’t be like that forever.” Mirka does not lack training motivation either: the more strenious the off-skate exercise is, the more she loves it. She’s especially fond of our very own personal trainer Ville’s torrential drills. Mirka also goes to the gym and plays football during the summer months.
As a true team player, Mirka names several of her fellow Queen B’s as her derby role models. But ultimately her number one idol is HRD Ninja Turtles’ captain Nina Erwes: ”Every single thing about Nina is amazing.” Mirka especially admires Nina’s strategic eye, determined training and her ability to keep up team spirit.
Questions about her derby name make Mirka smirk. Originally she could not come up with a name that satisfied her, so she decided to just use her own name. After putting more thought into the matter, Mirka ended up keeping her name as it was. ”I use my own name because I take playing derby very seriously,” Mirka Virolainen explains with a mischievous twinkle in her eye. Choosing her player number was easy: #17 is a relic from her active football playing years.
As for her favorite derby memory, Mirka does not have any particular moment she values above others: ”This whole spring has been very important to me, as I feel all my hard work is bearing fruit now.” As a cherry on top, Mirka’s spring season culminated in HRD Queen B’s victory over Dirty River Roller Grrrls in June and Mirka was awarded Best Jammer!
”Mirka is a great, straightforward and honest teammate, who expects hard work both from herself and from the others too. Also, when her team needed her to take up the jammer’s position, she did so without hesitation and has evolved immensely since.” – Witty Vega
This post is also available in: Finnish