Skater Spotlight - #206 CELESTE STEEL

This new skater will make sure you remember her name, Roc City Roller Derby’s own,

Celeste Steel!


Known as Gwendolyn Mendoza by the Government, Celeste Joined RCRD’s training program this past year. From humble beginnings with RCRD, to passing assessments just in time for an Internship and Jamming for the Black Diamond Rollers’ Dolls of Destruction, this skater is ready to lace up wearing the black and green come 2018.You won’t miss #206 as this agile Jammer flies around the track!

Outside of the derby-verse, Celeste goes to school full time pursuing a degree in Management Information Systems and works as a cook, with over a decade of experience after her FIRST degree, while she works towards the next milestones in her life. If two full time responsibilities aren’t enough, she also does freelance photography and editing work for larger companies when needed.

Celeste has such a unique and well defined list of hobbies and interests. There’s nothing this girl won’t do or try at least once. She’s a certified blade smith, hand forging traditional layered kitchen knives, a talented fashion nerd, and has even started and continues to develop the library makerspace and STEM programs for most of Southern NY.

When asked, “What brought you to Roller Derby?”  Celeste had quite the history to share:

“So, about nine years ago, my wife at the time went to a bout in Minneapolis where we were living at the time. She loved it and it sounded so cool! A few months later we ran into the team she had seen at a booth while shopping one day. They were the Minnesota Rollergirls and they were SO FREAKING COOL, I went home and looked up roller derby and wanted to be a part of it so badly that my heart hurt. I made myself forget about it, I knew I wanted to be a skater but at the time the entire world, including myself, were convinced I was a guy. Years later I was doing work-study for a library system in NY’s southern tier and learned one of the librarians skated. I asked her millions of questions for months and helped promote her league based in Elmira, NY.


Right as I moved to Rochester for school, it became blatant that I had no future outside of transitioning. A year in the thought of joining a league started teasing me and I was running out of excuses not to. A friend (Neon Katt) pushed me for months to go to a recruitment meeting; my last excuse was that I wanted to wait until my legal name change went through. I got my new license on a Monday and was at a RCRD recruitment meeting that Thursday.”

Roller derby has already played such a pivotal role in this skater’s life, and Celeste has found so much enjoyment in the community as she would put it: “finding some of the best friends I’ve ever made in my life.”

It is without question that this skater will continue to shine bright as she learns and grows in the roller derby community. And we cannot express our gratitude enough to have had her join our Roc City family.