What is your derby name? Does it have any special story or significance?
My last name is Hemmer, and the Hammertime jokes never really stop, but that was taken so I ended up being The Hammer. At the World Cup I'll be skating under my real name.
When did you start playing derby?
I first tried quad skates in 2014, and played my first game about three years ago
Which team do you skate for?
I'm a proud Bruiser as well as a Brawlstar
What is your favorite position on the track?
This is a hard question! I've been a jammer for all of my derby life, but I love blocking, so right now I'm trying to turn myself into a pivot. I don't want to pick one!
Before derby, when was the last time you had laced up skates? (Quad or otherwise)
I've been skating my whole life and never really took a break...I was a speed skater before derby. I retired from that after the 2014 Olympics, but I coached and ice and inline skated for fun and then I started derby about six months later.
What do you do outside of derby? What fun color does your life have other than this crazy sport?
I'm a math and physics teacher, and I have two stepkids and two kittens keeping me busy! I also love being outside, biking, XC skiing, hiking or running, and I just moved to Ann Arbor from Norway about a year ago so I still get really really excited about seeing cool new animals like groundhogs and wild turkeys. This summer I was backpacking alone and got lost, but I saw a real wild turtle while looking for the trail, so that was the best part of the whole trip.
Best part of skating for Team Norway?
Staying connected to Norwegian and European derby and skating with my old (and new) teammates
How often do you go to Norway to skate?
I've done three weekend camps in the year since I made the team. The travel has been pretty tough, but the bonus is I get to see my family when I go.
What do you have to have to be eligible for a World team?
I'm eligible because I was born in Norway, but according to the world cup rules you can also skate for a country if you lived there for long enough or you have grandparents from there. After that it's up to each team. For tryouts, we did a weekend of boot camp with on and off skates tests and practice. After that the team was announced.
Do you have any advice for newbie skaters?
Try to have some fun. Most of us put so much pressure on ourselves to be whatever we think is good enough but if you can accept where you're at right now and not waste energy beating yourself up about it, you'll get where you want to be so much faster. Also, do derby specific off skates and get strong in a low position and on one leg!
Hammer is a proud Bruiser and Brawlstar, and makes up one half of A2HOT2, a Co-Head of Training.