It is with the greatest sadness that BRD must say goodbye to one our own, Kjersten, derby name Kruzemissile #13, who passed away unexpectedly in her sleep.
KJ was a joy to be around, always positive and full of a fantastic energy that cou...ld lift anybody's mood. She brought so much enthusiasm and love for roller derby with her to BRD that even on those days when we were all feeling a little tired, experiencing one of those "should we...shouldn't we skate" days, Kjersten was there always showing a positive example and what it means to be a team.
Kjersten was a determined and brilliant skater, who would often say "hmm not sure I can do that" you would turn around for a second, to then turn back and see her accomplishing what she was a bit uncertain about a moment before (In one instance, it was a giant backwards leap!). Never one to give up on any roller derby skill or technique. Kjersten was a real joy to skate with and always asking her coaches what could she learn next.
She had so much to give to the league, Kjersten planned to help with so many things and was very invested in BRD's future. She was not just a skater at BRD, she was so much more. We all felt incredibly lucky to have her on board when she joined us, and she fast became part of our derby family.
Kjersten was also accomplished in other ways aside from derby. She had a real appreciation for the world and the people in it. She was very well read and always sharing new topics to think about, not to mention brilliant at standing up for the things she believed in. She was also funny and light hearted, and underneath that was a very smart and talented writer.
She wrote and edited for the Beijing Review, the Des Moines Register, and recently started working at Capital Spirits in Beijing.
A snippet from one of KJ's articles:
"Walking down the city's bustling hútong — Beijing's eponymous ancient, winding alleyways — street vendors still hawk scallion pancakes and fresh watermelon; grandparents and neighbors dote on tottering infants; faded, red couplets on banners line the doors of residences, wishing passers-by prosperity and happiness; cars, electric bikes, motos and haphazardly piled wagons line the narrow streets."
(From her 'Making It in China' series for the Des Moines Register.http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/life/2014/06/22/china-beijing-newspaper-modernization-status-quo-kirsten-jacobsen/11105961/)
We are devastated, words can not aptly describe the loss we feel.
Kjersten, we love you, we miss you, you will always be remembered. We will skate with you again soon.