Ask ? Ilia
to ask your ?
Ask ? Ilia
Kuliks-Krew Bulletin Board
October 22, 1999
June 2, 2000
From Hiroko: I
ALWAYS forgot to ask you these questions when I met you, so I'm posting them here. I have
two questions around the Olympics. 1. The commentator at the exhibition of the Olympics
for Japanese TV, she was Yuka Sato, said, when you were going to practice for the
exhibition, your sword for "Mortal Combat" were objected to by the security
control and you could not enter the rink for the practice. However, you showed up at the
real exhibition. So how did you persuade the security person? Anyway, I was VERY MUCH GLAD that you performed the VERY LAST for the
exhibition as a gold medalist!!!
Ilia: Actually it was a little bit different story. It
wasnt at the rink, it was at the Olympic Village for the athletes. There was a
serious security control, its like when youre going to the airport, its
the same thing. You have this frame you walk through and this thing for bags
everything like at the airport. And when I put the sword in they said you cannot bring it
to the village, you gotta check in and leave it at the security guard. Because actually
its a real thing I mean its heavy, its not that sharp but still,
its a real thing, real metal and its considered a weapon, but it wasnt,
you know, that sharp. So they kept it over there in security and when I went for the
exhibition I just came to the security, show them the paperwork, they gave me the sword.
It was kind of funny too, you know? But at the rink, there was nothing at the rink. I mean
there was security but not that strict. Actually, you know, I thought there would be some
(trouble with the sword) while I was traveling on the plane, you know, but I dont
remember how I was dealing with that on the plane
probably just checked the thing
and they let me go.
2. After the Olympics, the
medalists of figure skating went to Tokyo to appear on "Medalists on Ice". At
that time, I heard that all skaters went there by bus and entered the Hotel (I think it
was Hotel New Otani) by the back entrance, but ONLY YOU entered the front entrance of the
hotel on foot. Why??
Ilia: Actually, that also was a different story
because I came to Tokyo one day before. I wasnt with the group because I had a
meeting there so I came the day before. Thats why I wasnt with the group.
From Val (Valiushka):
As we talk about Olympics... If not too personal, I always wanted to know what you mumbled
on the podium just at the end of the Russian anthem? What were your thoughts at that
Ilia: What I mumbled
it is too personal. But the thoughts
I was completely disconnected. Switched
off. But about mumbling
it is too personal to say. I cannot say I remember exactly.
I was completely turned off.
And... another very personal
question... Do you believe in God ? Take care, Val :)
Ilia: You know, its too much of a theme to talk
about. Its hard to answer yes or no, such a topic, you know
you just cannot
answer yes or no in one straight answer. Im trying to figure it out, lets say
it this way.
From Sarah Booker (Sarah65):
A couple of questions about the Olympics! 1. What were your thoughts as you realized that
you had won the gold medal and of what had happened to Elvis! Do you think that he made
the right decision to go and skate injured?
Ilia: Better ask him, you know? I think you prepare for that your whole
life long -- you can get yourself together through the pain. If you manage to make it till
so you better go and give it a try, give it a chance. Its a good thing
that he didnt really pull it to the really bad condition. This is the only downside
you can expect if you completely pull it out, your muscle you can injure it so much
more, but you know, what do you need that muscle for if not the Olympics in four years, so
you gotta give it a try! So I think he did the right thing.
2. And what was your most
memorable moment in your career? By the way, good luck in the upcoming season and look
forward to meeting you at SOI this year!!!!!!
ILIA: Thats a big question!
From Val (Valiushka):
Two more questions: As you talk about being healthy in your last journal, do you still
fear back problems or is it completely healed by now? Do you still think about it when you
practice backflips and lifts?
Theres no problems with the back flips and the lifts. When Im starting to jump
but I wasnt jumping that hard this season at all. So triples and triple
axel looks good, feels good, feels fine. But theres some certain moves, some certain
positions that sometimes Im feeling something there, but its not that bad, not
bothering me at all.
Do you still follow amateur
competitions results? Do you sometimes watch some on TV? Thanks for taking time to answer
Ilia: Yeah, Im trying to catch everything that I
possibly can, but you know
were on tour all the time while everythings
going on so its hard to keep track of it. But you know, if I wouldnt be on
tour I probably even would go to the competition and just watch it live because its
From Hiroko: One more
question regarding the Olympics... I asked you about the details of the CD of Rhapsody in
Blue before, because there are so many CD of R in B in the World, but some Tokyo Krew
members and I want to have the same CD of R in B you used for the Olympic program badly,
and your answer for this at that time was: **************************************************
I will try to found out about
Rhapsody in Blue. Actually I had about 15 different CD's with it , so it is a little
difficult to say which one.....But I will try.
About five months have passed since
I received the answer, and I simply am waiting your next answer every day... I sometimes
imagine, you tried to find out it, but you could not find out which one... I know you are
very busy person, so if you answer to this question again, I would GREATLY APPRECIATE it.
I will be very much happy if I can have any answer. Thank you very much, Hiroko
Ilia: I was a little bit too busy to try to find these
CDs, you know. I was moving a lot since that time when I picked that music. I was moving a
lot and I was in Moscow and I was in Marlboro and then I moved here, and I really
dont know where my CDs are
I have a bunch of CDs in some state
left somewhere in Moscow, maybe
so its really hard to keep track of all the
CDs that I have. But as soon as Ill know, Ill let you know.
From Teri (Tsilver):
Hello Ilia. My name is Teri. Has the change in your life... to California from
Massachusetts, and the change of coach from Tarasova to ???? influenced your decision on
how to proceed with your career? Also, are you still using your quad jump (if so, how
frequently) and will your new competitive programs be very different athletically,
musically and artistically from previous ones?
Ilia: Im trying to make it different, you know, because I hate
doing the same stuff. Im not really doing the same stuff -- Im trying to make
it with the time, you know, not behind the time but with the time
this time period. (Pushing the envelope) yeah, thats what Im trying to
do. If youre not practicing your jumps that hard because when youre amateur
youre spending all your time on your jumps and techniques and theres no time
to push anything except your jumps forward. So youre just caring about your
techniques, youre not really into all the dance styles and youre not trying to
try anything new, any movements because everything start hurting, all your muscles start
hurting if youre trying something new. But youll only be fresh for your jumps,
you know, thats what its all about in amateurs.
In pros, its different. If I turned pro Im really trying
to go this professional way, not doing the same thing that I was doing in amateurs but on
a lower level so Im not trying to make it easy for myself. Im trying to make
it the same part but in a different direction. And its good, its great to
bring everything into it from different fields. You gotta take something from somewhere to
make something up from it and go forward, you know? You cannot just watch yourself and try
to do something new out of it. Youre stuck. You gotta bring all the information in
order to create something new.
From Hiroko: HI! Ilia.
How is your plan after your retirement as a skater? Do you want to become an actor?
Ilia: Who knows? I hope its a long way
forward, my retirement. I dont think about my retirement.
From Erica (Mrewing):
Hi Ilia. All of your programs seem to push the envelope for you artistically. Many skaters
from other countries have hard catering towards the western audiences. Although, your
transition seemed to happen without any flaws. To be honest with you, I never thought that
I would see a skater use hip-hop music and keep the dancing part of it so authentic. Is
your selection of music and routines a conscious effort on you part, or is it part of your
personality and interests to pick music from so many different genres? Did you receive any
criticism for departing from the classical style of skating and music. Good luck with the
rest of the tour. :-) Erica
Actually, I like so many things in the dancing world, so it doesnt make any sense to
be stuck with something like classical, or only hip-hop or only tango. Im enjoying
it, doing it and watching everything so Im certainly enjoying doing everything and
Im enjoying trying everything
So understand that I can do anything and
thats why Im trying different stuff and this is just interesting for me. And
Im certainly not getting any criticism because Im still able to to do the
classical stuff too, you know? Im not getting any criticism from hip-hop guys
because I can do hip-hop too. You know, its whatevers turning me on for this
moment, thats what Im trying to find the style
this is how I make my
moves happen. If something turns me on, the moves just come -- coming out of me if
Im excited about it for this moment.
From Erica (Mrewing):
Ilia, in your SOI profile it states that you studied at the Academy of Physical Culture in
Moscow. Is this something that is required for all athletes to strive for, or was it one
of your goals to focus on higher education while training for the Olympics?
Ilia: You know, the word "studying"s
got to be in quotes! Its hard to study somewhere when youre a skater, you
know? If youre practicing twice a day and you gotta have a little rest in between
and you really dont have any energy today and you have something else, you
cant really do some homework and stuff -- but I would not really call it studying,
serious studying. And its really interesting... I was studying coaching and stuff,
but you know, I know pretty much a lot about coaching because of my career. Maybe one day
Ill even be a coach because Im really enjoying it, and really enjoying seeing
that people can do something because I properly lead them there
its such a
great feeling also. But Im also a little disappointed that I couldnt really
study that hard at that academy because there was so much knowledge in there, you know?
But I got some (knowledge) and Im happy with that. And you know, you can study all
your life long and it will not be enough
its never enough. You have to do a
balance between actually doing it and studying it.
From Sarah (Sfigureskating):
Ilia, what is it like to travel from city to city without family members but knowing that
both your Stars On Ice and Krew Family are there to support you all the way?
Ilia: Its hard to compare it with something
its just like, like it is. Sometimes, its a different feeling:
sometimes you feel so good, so great, so happy sometimes you feel like youre
in prison because youre kind of stuck for four months, you know? It depends on the
mood. Sometimes in a good mood, sometimes in a bad mood and pretty much the most tiring
thing is that every day routine is so similar -- and four, four and a half months
its hard to do the same routine every day, you know with no place to really stay and
From Mayi (Admin):
Ilia, last years Stars on Ice programs Jumpin' Jack, Tango and Noise were very
geared towards reaching and involving the audience (especially Noise). This year Baseball
Cap and Blues are more introverted. Why the change? Is it just the different piece of
music? Or did you think audience interplay did not work for you? I loved Noise it
is one of my favorite programs ever.
You know, its really hard to get to the audience when youre all attention into
the cap! Either the cap or the audience -- its just a different program. There was
no thought it saying "Im gonna do an introverted program," I wasnt
really on concentrating on that, it just ended up thats what happened.
From Sarah (Sfigureskating):
Hello! Sorry for asking you so many questions, but me and my friend Jenn have this
question for you! After what had happened to Stefan Bernadis outside his motel room this
year at Worlds (2000-he was attacked), do you think that when a high profile
athlete is at a major competition like Worlds or Olympics, that there should be added
security at the Motels that all athletes are staying at?
Ilia: I dont know. I know one thing dont go with
Stefan Bernadis! (laughs)
From Laurel (Oplatka):
Hello Ilia. Your "Baseball Cap" I consider to be a work of art. The brilliant
blend of artistry, athleticism, originality, coordination, intensity and cleverness is
amazing. Where did you get the idea for that program and how long has it taken you to
idea was presented to me by Christopher Dean. Actually I was a little bit stuck with an
idea for the second number for the tour because I was working on something but
couldnt fit everything because it was a little bit too short of a time to make it.
And then I was almost without a second number for the tour. And then I remembered this
idea and I thought its something that we can make in a pretty short period of time
because theres idea, theres a hat, theres a music, just go and do it,
you know? Everything was ready, just go and do it. We really spent three days with Chris
actually it was like maybe four hours, five hours working with Chris all together.
It was like five hours of work time because it just, getting the mood and trying to get
some moves. It just went very well because it was just so productive, those five hours --
everything was just going one by one, everything was so original. It was such a great mix
of me and Chris working together, getting ideas from each other and it just made it work.
And then it took the whole tour to perfect it and I still
wasnt perfect. I mean there is
there is no limits for perfection, you know?
Nobody knows what perfection is so you can really get into it even more
and then if
you got those moves, you can make it even more complicated one day. But on the tour I was
trying to keep everything the same. There was some changes because on the end of the tour
my muscles were pretty sore because this thing when Im going down and then kick up
-- it was really pulling my muscles and I thought that it was almost injured pretty bad so
I was trying to avoid it. This was bothering me because I really like that move, but I
gotta sacrifice something
On the end I was even relaxing during the number because the first
40 shows I still couldnt breathe, you know? Its so unpredictable and its
so, so intense. And before going on the ice every time I was warming up with the hat so I
cannot just take and grab my stuff as the other numbers youre grabbing your
stuff, you go on and you do it. But I couldnt just grab my hat, put it on, go do the
number. I was warming up for 10 or 15 minutes going through all the stuff just to make it
work before the number because otherwise it just flies out! You got get into the mood, get
into the rhythm, you go and do it. But still I was losing it sometimes, you know
I was losing some screws also
(laughs) Oh, that was embarrassing, that was pretty
From Leslie (Jagrbure68):
Iliushka!!! YOU'RE THE GREATEST!!! What cool things are you doing this summer? Anything
fun? Working on a new movie or programs? Love ya!! Leslie
yeah, maybe Ill go once again, it just
depends on the right company -- its boring to go by yourself. If Ill find some
more people who are willing to do it rantll certainly go because its hard to find
those people who are really willing to go skydive! Im playing a lot of tennis
actually, Im really into it
playing in a little league in my club. 4.0 League,
its like a level for tennis. Its not a ranking, but its like a level. I
had a couple of lessons but Im just enjoying playing.
June 2, 2000
October 22, 1999
- From Pauline Moore: You said
in one interview that skating made it possible for you to express yourself so you were
happy. In another interview, you said that "landing a jump is almost happiness."
Which makes you happier? (For me, your expression is what I love most, but don't get me
wrong, I adore your jumps too -- most gorgeous jumps I've ever seen).
Ilia: Thanks. You know, I think
something like, something ultimate and you cannot be happier or less happier -
if youre happy youre happy, you know? There is no way to say when Im
MORE happy. If youre happy, youre happy. Its just
to get the enjoyment from. If youre landing a jump, its one sort of way to be
happy, if youre doing a routine where yoat a46;re expressing yourself and
youre enjoying yourself and you feel that youre doing everything great and
this is the way you wanted to see
this is another sort of happiness.
- From Christine Teh: Skating
is your dream. But do you have any other dream/s you'd like to pursue? Or to sacrifice
- From W. (Dawnstarr): What would
you be doing if you were not a skater.
Ilia: I dont know. Im doing what I always love to do, and Im happy
because of that. I dont wanna do anything else. Im doing what I wanna do. So,
if you see me doing something else, that means that I wanna do that and Im doing
- From Sarah Booker:
Hello Ilia!!!! How are you doing out there in L.A.? So when are you going to go back on
the competitive circuit? All your Canadian fans want to know if you are going to do the
Canadian tour of SOI!!!!!! How was your off season? You and Katia look cute together. Say
hi to her!!!!! Well gotta get going 'cause I'm at school right now. Looking forward to
seeing you on t.v. Bye! Bye! By the way, you must be brave to go parachuting!!!! I would
not do that! I would be so afraid that the chute would not open. Did you chicken out when
you went to go do it!!!!
Ilia: I guess it is a place to chicken to out a little! But yeah, I was a little
but I believe the instructor who we were flying with because he dont wanna die
About Canadian tour
thats still a question, because usually Canadian tour goes
right after American tour and American tour is 63 shows and you barely can move your legs
after that. You hate all the hotels in the world, and you hate all the planes in the
world, all the restaurant food, all the room services and so, its almost impossible
to say if Im gonna be there or not.
And off-season was great! I wish, I wish I could have a little bit more off-season,
instead of being home I was in New York shooting a movie, but thats what I wanted on
that period of time! Off SKATING season, I was off SKATING season -- but not OFF-season.
- From Sarah Booker:
What do you think about how the media reacts to certain things that famous people do? Do
you think that they go too far into a famous persons personal life? Personally, to a
certain point the public has no right to know what that person does or even has happened
Ilia: That depends who, sometimes
they are going a little bit too far, but its a lot depends on the person
the celebrity. A lot depends on him, if he wants to involve all the people so deep in his
he doing that, if not hell always has a chance to just cut it out
and there is some certain ways to cut it out. So I think if, if some celebrity is
complaining about that its just their fault too-- theyre giving more than they
should be giving.