Translation of an interview with Lubov Iliushechkina. Luba told about Four Continents Championships, programs and life in Canada.
First, I want to congratulate you with the first medal at the international competitions of such level. Are you satisfied with your performance?
– Of course, this prize place pleased a lot as a result our work. We had a very serious training before this competitions, a lot of work has been done. We really wanted to show one of our good training run-through at competitions. We are glad that we managed to do it. But, unfortunately, silly mistake on the last throw spoiled a bit the overall impression. In any case, we are satisfied with our performance, well, if we talk about the ranking, it is also an important moment. I think we’ve done a good job.
You said that it’s important for you to win a medal for Canada, the country you love the most. Aren’t you afraid of bad things that people will write in comments?
– I’ve already read…..
So, already written.
– I have a right to have my opinion and to voice it. I love Canada and what people conjecture that’s their business. They are responsible for it themselves.
Do you easily adapt to something new?
– I’ve never wonder, but if it’s necessary, probably yes, I’ll adapt. I think I cope with it pretty good.
When you teamed up with Dylan, how long have you been getting used to each other?
– There wasn’t a feeling “here it is, we’re getting used to each other”. We communicated well on and off the ice, which certainly helped to establish the internal atmosphere, to make a contact. Waiting for my Canadian visa we stuck in Detroit for six weeks, but it has helped us in establishing of our pair, to establish a dialogue and to understand each other better. I can’t say that we spent certain amount of time to get used to each other. No, nothing like this. We just started to work, and everything went on as it happens in the normal working process.
Dylan makes an impression of a very open-natured guy.
– Exactly. He is very sociable. Everyone loves him and he loves everyone, he has many friends. And, of course, it’s great when your partner can find a positive thing in almost any situation and turn everything into a joke. It helps a lot, cheers.
Do you communicate with Russian skaters?
– We meet at competitions, sometimes it all continues in the social networks, but I don’t have close relationships with anyone.
Such relationships possible in figure skating?
– I don’t know. On the other hand, why not? It just hasn’t happened with me.
In Gangneung were a lot of talks that a year left till the Olympics. Do you have such a special feeling?
– Everyone gives so much attention to this (laughs). Of course, the Olympic Games is a colossal event, but coming to every competitions, you try to show your best score. All this, of course, is very important and it would be wrong to deny that some kind of internal countdown presents, but it is not in the foreground now.
Meagan Duhamel adopted a local dog. Do you have such plans?
– There is no much space in my house to do it. And frankly, I would like to have a hare. I already had a hare, when I lived in Russia. Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, but I hope to have a hare when it will be possible.
Do you like your programs?
– Very much.
And were those that you didn’t like?
– There were. I will not name them, but there were programs that I did not like and each time I had to skate them …But the current programs I like very much. I’ve being dreaming about tango for a long time. It was just a present for me: “Luba, we are doing tango!” (Laughs). There is a special story with the free program: Dylan and I were chosing music, listening various options in the car and when I stopped him on When You Say You Love Me, he was very inspired, because he liked this song for a long time. So there couldn’t have been any questions, we showed this music to coaches and choreographers, they agreed that we should do a program to it. We were so happy. Since then, I began to listen Josh Groban, he has a great voice. One of my most audacious desires: he’s singing live and we’re skating to his voice. I could say, I dream about it!
They say that Canadians are one of the most polite and positive nation in the world. It’s true?
– I can not disagree.
Do you feel that you began to smile more too?
– Yes! In Canada I have a feeling of inner calm, balance. I was attracted by this at once, when I arrived in 2010, then I was representing Russia. I had such a state of peace, steady. And this gives such a peace, relaxation, and a relaxed smile. In addition, it is such a culture, when it’s normal just to smile. First I felt some mistrust, but then I realized that everything just is as it is.
Mistrust towards smiling people?
– Yes, I was thinking what’s the catch here (laughs)?
How much time do you spend at home? Do you want to go there more often?
– My home is where my suitcase is and my suitcase is where I am. Of course, at some point I would like to have my own house, but I can’t think about it right now. Now I have other goals, tasks, I have no strength and energy even to think about it.
How do you rest? How do you spend your free time?
– I deal with e-mails, papers that accumulate. If I can talk with parents or my best friend, it’s wonderful. Of course I read. Now I read Peter Jenson Thriving in a 24/7 World. This book describes experience of the sports psychologist, whom I had the chance to know personally, there is an incredibly interesting tips, information on how to deal with emotions in tense moments.
Don’t you go anywhere?
– Sometimes I go to the movies. Sometimes we go somewhere with the guys with whom we train together in the Cricket club. It is a rare opportunity to get together and to go somewhere together. Of course, we celebrate holidays.
Haven’t you been taken to hockey in Canada?
– No, I haven’t gone to the hockey yet, to the baseball also. I have been in “Cirque du Soleil”! It was something just beyond imagination. I have gone to the ballet, a horse riding … I’ve done a lot of things (laughs).
Admit, do you eat maple syrup?
– I do, but rarely (laughs).
– Traditionally it’s eaten with bacon. But for me, it’s better to add to coffee or desserts like sweet sugar syrup (laughs).