So What if Ilia Can Skate?

I gotta have somebody to pick on, don't I? Now come on, who can I pick on if not the renegade Soviet skater who went out there in that OUTFIT and actually attempted to skate his way to a gold medal? Which I do swear he won by being judged on the edges (deal with it) of his cheekbones and not the damn edges of his skate blades....

Gotta pick on Ilia. And it's constructive. I really do think he enjoys come on, have you seen him ditch that moo-cow costume yet? Anybody else would have given up ages ago..I think he's attached to the damn thing!

And anyone who can skate in that thing and make it look good, that damn reject from a Soviet optic lab....oh, they would have keeled over fifteen years ago to let something like that get on the how in the hell does he pull it off?

I think also part of the reason I have put off this page is that, reasonably speaking, a good Ilia page is as damn hard to do as a Douglas Hofstadter book (for instance, "Godel, Escher, Bach"). Full of philosophy and contemplation, and only on the surface about cuteness.

It's damn hard to do. It takes lots of thought. And it's so much easier just to pick on the boy....which grand and glorious tradition I certainly intend to keep up.

It's a lot more intellectually rewarding when you get down to the bottom of it.

There are many mysteries to be explored here, from blade technique to posturing to the damn aura that seems to suck the medals into his personal space...oh, this one will be worked on.

Guys, guys, guys, it's more than the cheekbones. The pretty blond hair.

And it is sure as hell about more than that costume.....(1-800-GATEWAY, was that the latest "catch basin" comment? Eeee.....)

Five Minutes To Ice Time

Okay. Take rule #1 and think about it very hard for 2 minutes.

Take rule #2 and think about it very hard for 2 minutes.

Take rule #3 and think about it very hard for 1 minute.

"Ladies and gentlemen, from Russia, Ilia Kulik!"

Kulik's Cube

Yeah, I'm teasing Ilia. He's teasable.

One of those old jokes: How does Ilia skate?

No one's ever been able to figure it out. So people started coming up with silly comments. One of them was: " a Rubik's cube."

It's stuck. And it makes some very important points about Ilia's skating.

Go look at the Java rendition below if you are not familiar with a Rubik's cube.

Ilia has always skated best in different colors. A one-color costume does not work for him. He falls off his edges. He conveys a hell of a lot of drama and power and that reflects best in multicolored costumes.

A Rubik's cube is solved best by turning all the layers one direction until you have that solved, and then concentrating on turning it to the side. Ilia has the most awesome front edges (still) in skating. And his flips and lutzes should be the best of all because you're thinking "front edge" when you take off on one. The fact that he has not got them says a heck of a lot about Ilia.

A Cube is thoroughly mathematical. So is Ilia. He will do it his own precise way or not at all. He has to be coached very carefully. Don't break his thinking routine, but don't let him run wild either. Like many highly intelligent people, he delights in seeing what he can get away with.

Henceforth, Ilia, your assignment.

Go Play. (Java Rubik's Cube.)

Now, come up with three rules about solving Rubik's cubes. These will also apply to your skating. Take these and plug them into the Five Minutes to Ice Time routine above.

You will be just fine.

Now go skate.


Ilia, When You Gonna Skate?
How Does He Do It?