To Skate or Watch Them Skate: That Is the Question

National Book award-nominated American poet Gail Mazur wrote these words about ice skating, describing a girl on a frozen river with her father: “... they glide arm in arm onto the blurred surface together, braced like dancers. She thinks she’ll never be so happy, for who else will find her graceful, find her perfect, skate with her in circles outside the emptied rink forever?” In the poem, “Ice,” the girl and her dad are the last to unlace their skates and go home, out of a whole community enjoying the deep winter.


One could easily imagine that girl growing up always holding onto the feeling of that graceful gliding and, as many of us do as we try to match our workaday adulthood to the things we loved in innocence, strapping on a different kind of skate with a network of friends for something like Maine Roller Derby today. Well, whatever the reasons behind the MRD’s athletes’ grit and commitment, Portlanders get to enjoy the fruits of it at the Wicked vs. Good Bout featuring lady skaters, and the Casco Bay Gentlemen's Derby vs. Vermont’s Mean Mountain Boys in the men’s bout, the double-header starting at the Portland Expo (239 Park Ave) on Saturday, October 14 at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 11-15, and free for kids 10 and under, at


If you’re inspired by the speed and strategy of the roller derby, or just want to try to capture a Hans Christian Andersen moment of your own, make sure to go to the Great Atlantic Speedskating Club’s ‘Try Speedskating’ event at the Family Ice Center (20 Hatrick Dr, Falmouth) the next day, Sunday, October 15, at 9:30 a.m. Prices are $20 for adults, $15 for kids 17 and under. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve skates, and bring a helmet, gloves, and soft knee pads. Athletes of all ages and abilities are welcome to focus on racing in the future or to participate just for fun.


If you’re the last one to leave, you might have just found a new lifelong athletic pursuit.

Last modified onTuesday, 10 October 2017 21:14