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 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 wasn’t at the rink, it was at the Olympic Village for the athletes. There was a serious security control, it’s like when you’re going to the airport, it’s 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 it’s a real thing – I mean it’s heavy, it’s not that sharp but still, it’s a real thing, real metal and it’s considered a weapon, but it wasn’t, 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 don’t 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 wasn’t with the group because I had a meeting there so I came the day before. That’s why I wasn’t 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 moment?

    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, it’s too much of a theme to talk about. It’s hard to answer yes or no, such a topic, you know… you just cannot answer yes or no in one straight answer. I’m trying to figure it out, let’s 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 there… so you better go and give it a try, give it a chance. It’s a good thing that he didn’t 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: That’s 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?

    Ilia: There’s no problems with the back flips and the lifts. When I’m starting to jump more… but I wasn’t jumping that hard this season at all. So triples and triple axel looks good, feels good, feels fine. But there’s some certain moves, some certain positions that sometimes I’m feeling something there, but it’s 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, I’m trying to catch everything that I possibly can, but you know… we’re on tour all the time while everything’s going on so it’s hard to keep track of it. But you know, if I wouldn’t be on tour I probably even would go to the competition and just watch it live because it’s exciting.


  • 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 don’t know where my CDs are… I have a bunch of CDs in some state… maybe I left somewhere in Moscow, maybe… so it’s really hard to keep track of all the CDs that I have. But as soon as I’ll know, I’ll 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: I’m trying to make it different, you know, because I hate doing the same stuff. I’m not really doing the same stuff -- I’m trying to make it with the time, you know, not behind the time but with the time… in this time period. (Pushing the envelope) – yeah, that’s what I’m trying to do. If you’re not practicing your jumps that hard because when you’re amateur you’re spending all your time on your jumps and techniques and there’s no time to push anything except your jumps forward. So you’re just caring about your techniques, you’re not really into all the dance styles and you’re not trying to try anything new, any movements because everything start hurting, all your muscles start hurting if you’re trying something new. But you’ll only be fresh for your jumps, you know, that’s what it’s all about in amateurs.

    In pros, it’s different. If I turned pro I’m really trying to go this professional way, not doing the same thing that I was doing in amateurs but on a lower level so I’m not trying to make it easy for myself. I’m trying to make it the same part but in a different direction. And it’s good, it’s 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. You’re 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 it’s a long way forward, my retirement. I don’t 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

    Ilia: Actually, I like so many things in the dancing world, so it doesn’t make any sense to be stuck with something like classical, or only hip-hop or only tango. I’m enjoying it, doing it and watching everything so I’m certainly enjoying doing everything and I’m enjoying trying everything… So understand that I can do anything and that’s why I’m trying different stuff and this is just interesting for me. And I’m certainly not getting any criticism because I’m still able to to do the classical stuff too, you know? I’m not getting any criticism from hip-hop guys because I can do hip-hop too. You know, it’s whatever’s turning me on for this moment, that’s what I’m 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 I’m 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! It’s hard to study somewhere when you’re a skater, you know? If you’re practicing twice a day and you gotta have a little rest in between and you really don’t have any energy today and you have something else, you can’t really do some homework and stuff -- but I would not really call it studying, serious studying. And it’s 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 I’ll even be a coach because I’m really enjoying it, and really enjoying seeing that people can do something because I properly lead them there… it’s such a great feeling also. But I’m also a little disappointed that I couldn’t really study that hard at that academy because there was so much knowledge in there, you know? But I got some (knowledge) and I’m happy with that. And you know, you can study all your life long and it will not be enough… it’s 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: It’s hard to compare it with something – it’s just like, like it is. Sometimes, it’s a different feeling: sometimes you feel so good, so great, so happy – sometimes you feel like you’re in prison because you’re 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 it’s hard to do the same routine every day, you know with no place to really stay and relax.


  • From Mayi (Admin): Ilia, last year’s 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.

    Ilia: You know, it’s really hard to get to the audience when you’re all attention into the cap! Either the cap or the audience -- it’s just a different program. There was no thought it saying "I’m gonna do an introverted program," I wasn’t really on concentrating on that, it just ended up that’s 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 skater or 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 don’t know. I know one thing – don’t 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 "perfect" it??

    Ilia: The 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… I couldn’t 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 it’s something that we can make in a pretty short period of time because there’s idea, there’s a hat, there’s 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 wasn’t 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 I’m 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 couldn’t breathe, you know? It’s so unpredictable and it’s 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 – you’re grabbing your stuff, you go on and you do it. But I couldn’t 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… and I was losing some screws also… (laughs) Oh, that was embarrassing, that was pretty bad.


  • 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

    Ilia: Skydiving… yeah, maybe I’ll go once again, it just depends on the right company -- it’s boring to go by yourself. If I’ll find some more people who are willing to do it rantll certainly go because it’s hard to find those people who are really willing to go skydive! I’m playing a lot of tennis actually, I’m really into it… playing in a little league in my club. 4.0 League, it’s like a level for tennis. It’s not a ranking, but it’s like a level. I had a couple of lessons but I’m 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… happiness is something like, something ultimate and you cannot be happier or less happier –- if you’re happy you’re happy, you know? There is no way to say when I’m MORE happy. If you’re happy, you’re happy. It’s just… different things to get the enjoyment from. If you’re landing a jump, it’s one sort of way to be happy, if you’re doing a routine where yoat a46;re expressing yourself and you’re enjoying yourself and you feel that you’re 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 skating for?
  • From W. (Dawnstarr): What would you be doing if you were not a skater.

    : I don’t know. I’m doing what I always love to do, and I’m happy because of that. I don’t wanna do anything else. I’m doing what I wanna do. So, if you see me doing something else, that means that I wanna do that and I’m doing that!

  • 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!!!!

    : 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 don’t wanna die either.

    About Canadian tour… that’s 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, it’s almost impossible to say if I’m 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 that’s 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 person’s personal life? Personally, to a certain point the public has no right to know what that person does or even has happened to them.

    Ilia: That depends who, sometimes… sometimes they are going a little bit too far, but it’s a lot depends on the person… on the celebrity. A lot depends on him, if he wants to involve all the people so deep in his private life… he doing that, if not he’ll 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 it’s just their fault too-- they’re giving more than they should be giving.

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