Ann Calvello

Last updated
Ann Calvello, Buffalo, NY - April 27, 1986 Ann Calvello.jpg
Ann Calvello, Buffalo, NY - April 27, 1986

Ann Theresa Calvello (August 1, 1929 – March 14, 2006) was an American athlete and notable personality in the sport of roller derby.

Ann Calvello graduated from Presentation High School in San Francisco in June 1947.

Calvello competed in roller derby in seven decades, the 1940s through the 2000s. She broke into the sport in 1948 originally skating for a league called International Roller Speedway. Skating with the original Roller Derby, beginning in 1948, she would be named women's 'Captain' of her team within six months. Calvello, who often sported dyed hair and color-coordinated uniforms, was known for her temper. She was nicknamed "Banana-Nose" by legendary skater, Buddy Atkinson, Sr.. She traveled the world skating in Europe, Guam, Philippines, Cuba, Australia and all over the United States. She broke her nose 12 times during her career. Her most famous rival on the track was Joan Weston.

Ann gave birth to a daughter, Teri Ann Langley-Conte, on August 11, 1953. She was a perennial Roller Derby All-Star and league MVP in 1963 skating with the Mexico City Cardenales. [1] After skating with the rival Roller Games league for two years, she was inducted into the Roller Derby Hall of Fame when she returned to the original Derby in 1968. [2]

In 2001, Demon of The Derby, a biographical documentary film about Calvello, was completed by Fireproof Productions. It has been released on DVD, and is occasionally screened at fundraisers organized by roller derby leagues.

The primary investor in 'Demon of the Derby,' Gary Powers, a fan from Brooklyn, NY, would start 'Roller Derby Foundation,' in order to raise money to assist Calvello who was working in a grocery store and as a ticket taker for the SF Forty-Niners. Calling Powers her 'son,' Calvello would donate her vast collection of Roller Derby memorabilia to Powers, who reopened the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame in 2004.

In 2005, Calvello contributed many rare photos and clippings from her personal collection to the book Roller Derby Classics…and more! by Jim Fitzpatrick, self-published via Trafford Publishing. She also wrote the foreword to the book.

On February 27, 2006, Calvello was featured in the reality television show Rollergirls that was broadcast on the A&E Network. In the episode, filmed in 2005, members of the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls traveled to California in search of Cavello, their hero. TXRD has named their championship the Calvello Cup in her honor. Calvello also appeared in the season finale where the Rhinestone Cowgirls and the Holy Rollers battled for the championship.

Calvello last resided in San Bruno, California with partner, Billy Prieto, and her cats. She never officially retired from roller derby, but had not competed since 2000, although in 2001 she returned to the track one final time to win a match race with Kenneth Loge III on the finale of RollerJam . In early 2006, she was diagnosed with liver cancer, and died at the age of 76 soon after.

Related Research Articles

Roller derby contact sport

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating counter-clockwise around a track. Roller derby is played by approximately 1,250 amateur leagues worldwide, mostly inside the United States.

TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls is an Austin, Texas-based all-female banked-track roller derby league. Founded in 2001, TXRD is one of several leagues considered responsible for the modern roller derby revival. It is skater owned and operated. In 2006, the Lonestar Rollergirls were featured in a 13-episode television series on A&E titled Rollergirls, which contributed to the renewed international popularity of women's roller derby.

Jim Fitzpatrick is an American author, photographer, portrait artist and former athlete in the sport of roller derby. Fitzpatrick, born and raised in San Francisco, California, skated for the San Francisco Bay Bombers, of the International Roller Skating League (IRSL) Roller Derby, the 1977–1987 revival of the sport. Following a number of shoulder separation injuries, he became a league referee.

Joan Weston American roller derby skater

Joan Weston or Joanie Weston, known as the "Blonde Bomber", "Blonde Amazon", "Golden Girl", and "Roller Derby Queen", was a U.S. athlete and was the most famous personality in the original Roller Derby.

Arch Rival Roller Derby

Arch Rival Roller Derby, or ARCH, is a women's flat-track roller derby league in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 2005, Arch Rival is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

The history of roller derby traces the evolution of roller skating races into a unique sport which underwent several boom-and-bust cycles throughout the 20th century. Although it was a form of sports entertainment for much of its existence, a grassroots, early 21st century revival spearheaded by women has restored an emphasis on athleticism.

Texas Rollergirls

Texas Rollergirls is a women's flat track roller derby league based in Austin, Texas. Founded in early 2003 and widely credited as the league that started the modern roller derby movement, the Texas Rollergirls were the first flat-track league in the nation to play a version of roller derby using new standardized rules and a track design based on the dimensions of the old banked tracks. As flat-track derby caught on in other American cities, the Texas Rollergirls' rulebook and track design eventually evolved into the specifications that were adopted and ratified upon formation of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) in 2005, of which Texas is a founding member.

Shauna Cross is an American screenwriter, novelist and former roller derby athlete. She skated for the Los Angeles Derby Dolls under the pseudonym "Maggie Mayhem", and subsequently wrote the 2007 novel Derby Girl, a fictionalized version of her experiences in the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls league. In 2009, she wrote a film adaption of the novel, Whip It, which was directed by Drew Barrymore and released in 2009. She was named one of Variety's 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2008.

Tallahassee RollerGirls

Tallahassee RollerGirls is a women's flat-track roller derby league based in Tallahassee, Florida. Founded in 2006, Tallahassee is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

For the figure skater Alexandra Cohen, see Sasha Cohen.

Atlanta Roller Derby

Atlanta Roller Derby (ARD) is a women's flat-track roller derby league based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 2004, as Atlanta Rollergirls, the league finished their fourteenth season in November 2018. Atlanta Roller Derby is a founding member league of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

Bay Area Derby, formerly B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls, is a women's flat-track roller derby league based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bay Area Derby (BAD) was founded in 2004 and is a founding member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). BAD is a skater-owned and -operated 501(c)(3) non-profit league. The league is composed of four teams for intra-league play, and an all-star travel team that competes nationally. As of 2016, BAD was ranked in the top 20 overall in WFTDA.

This annotated bibliography is intended to list both notable and not so notable works of English language, non-fiction and fiction related to the sport of roller derby listed by topic and format, and then year. Although 100% of any book listed is not necessarily devoted to roller derby, all these titles have significant roller skating and roller derby content. Included in this bibliography is a list of classic texts, roller derby history texts and roller derby local league created materials devoted to roller derby.

Roller derby in the United States

The growing popularity of roller skating in the United States led to the formation of organized multi-day endurance races for cash prizes as early as the mid-1880s. Speed and endurance races continued to be held on both flat and banked tracks in the century's first three decades and spectators enjoyed the spills and falls of the skaters. The term "roller derby" was used to refer to such races by 1922.

Bonnie Beck, known as Bonnie D.Stroir, is a roller derby coach and skater.

The Roller Derby Hall of Fame, also known as the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame, was founded in 1952, by the editors of the Roller Derby News paper.

Jennifer Wilson, known as Hydra, is a roller derby skater who has played a leading role in the development of the sport.

Denise Grimes, known as Ivanna S. Pankin, is a roller derby skater and organizer.

Annis "Big Red" Jensen was an American roller derby skater. In 1954, she was the first women's captain of the San Francisco Bay Bombers in the IRDL professional roller derby league. At the time of retirement in 1969, she was the oldest active skater in league history.

References

  1. Keith Coppage, Roller Derby to RollerJam, p.123
  2. "Events & Inductees", Roller Derby Hall of Fame
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bobbie Mateer
International Roller Derby League Female MVP
1963
Succeeded by
Carol Meyer