Birthday Tribute to Judy From Gary Powers of the NRDHOF

Roller Derby Hall-of-Famer Judy Arnold
Celebrates 67th Birthday on August 6, 2011
with Gala Event in Redding, California

When JUDY ARNOLD donned the number sixty-seven uniform of the crimson-and-gold jerseyed HAWAIIAN WARRIORS in 1967 as the team relocated to the East Coast, she had already established herself, within six short years, as one of the most talented young stars of Roller Derby . This California native had been the sport's 'Rookie-of-the-Year' with the SAN FRANCISCO BAY BOMBERS in 1961 and had received the same honor with Roller Games in 1963, offering everyone a glimpse that she might be one of the greatest skaters of all-time. But as Warrior captain, 'Pretty Judy' would become the foundation of the Warrior franchise, captivating the hearts of the cynical sports media and endearing herself to legions of Derby fans all along the East Coast. Judy Arnold had become a Roller Derby superstar and what everyone had expected her to be.

It seemed as if there was nothing Arnold couldn't do - she was her team's top scorer, one of the defensive giants of the league and the only skater who could sell out an arena by simply accepting a match race challenge. By 1972, Judy and Coach BUDDY ATKINSON, Jr. had made the Warriors into the most talented and powerful team in the banked track sport, the most 'Derby' team in National. It was the same year Judy doubled for actress Raquel Welch in the movie, KANSAS CITY BOMBER, an assignment that would change her life for it allowed her to consider there might be other ways to reach and inspire an even larger audience.

By the time Judy Arnold turned thirty, she was the most respected and best all-around skater on the banked track. But at the pinnacle of her career, she made the decision to turn her life over to Jesus Christ, leaving Roller Derby to become an ordained minister. Over the past thirty-five years, she has offered herself as a vessel of hope and change, comforting countless souls and becoming a beacon of clarity to everyone she meets.

Judy Arnold's compassion, love and generosity continue to be a shining light in a challeng ing and complicated world. In 2004, she was inducted into the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame and continues to inspire those who dream of following in her footsteps, whether it be on roller skates or in service to the Lord. She is considered by many to be the greatest Roller Derby star of all time. Her life off the track, serving mankind and spreading the word of the Lord, is about embracing the love and goodness that is within each of us and becoming all God wants us to be.

When the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame & Museum reopened in September, 2004, JUDY ARNOLD was one of the first new inductees alongside JOAN WESTON, JULIE PATRICK and JUDY SOWINSKI, three women who had nurtured her and provided her with some of the best competition. Many will tell you she was the best of the best, ranking right up there with GERRY MURRAY & MIDGE 'Toughie' BRASUHN. That we got to see her week-after-week in Philadelphia with the Warriors was an unexpected and profound gift. That we continue to experience the wonder of Judy Arnold is a blessing indeed. She will always be one of the greatest ladies in the history of Roller Derby and one of God's most divine creations.

Judy Arnold is an inspiration to all who have been in her presence and on Saturday, August 6, 2011, on her 67th birthday... family, friends and fans from around the world celebrated this amazing lady at an event hosted by the Redding (CA.) Roller Girls.

Thank you, Judy for all you have been and continue to be.
God bless you forever.

~ Gary Powers
Executive Director
National Roller Derby Hall of Fame & Museum
New York City

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