The #JacksonFamily is a large family of skaters wearing Jackson product. Whether it be Matrix Blades, Ultima Blades, Jackson Skates or GAM Skates, skaters are encouraged to tag #JacksonFamily in their social posts and be a part of the largest skating family, from recreational to elite! Innovation, Development and most importantly FUN are the core fundamentals of #JacksonFamily.
In our interview series, we go behind the scenes and talk with some of our skaters to get to know them a little bit better!
Today’s interview features Canadian Pairs skater Lubov Ilyushechkina! Together with Dylan Moscovitch they are the 2017 Four Continents bronze medalists, two-time bronze medalists on the Grand Prix series, and three-time Canadian national medalists!
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview! For those who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, when and why you started skating?
Hi, I’m Luba, Canadian pair skater, currently 25 years old, turning 26 in a month (Nov 5th)!
I started skating at the age of 5. My parents wanted me to do something else outside of going to kindergarten and I always had a lot of energy! Physical activity was a good choice and we had a figure skating section close to our house; it was an outdoor rink at the very beginning. A while later, as I started improving, my parents found a full time ice rink close to our house.
What are some of your hobbies and how do you balance other things in your life with being an elite athlete? Tell us about your academic endeavors in Russia!
Until a week ago all my spare time was going into learning the Canadian immigration system! :) It was quite an educational process, but I am now happy to be a Canadian citizen!
I like reading, beading, writing my diary, making some handmade things. But these things don’t need to be scheduled as it is more relaxing.
In Russia I graduated as a figure skating coach and I have a bachelor’s degree. It was a lot of work as I was coaching at the same time. Going to school while also teaching gave me a lot of knowledge and understanding about the coaching process. Being able to deliver the information in the form which it can digested really takes some creative skills! I was doing everything for my group: choreography, on-ice lessons, off-ice fitness lessons, ballet classes, group numbers for the New Year celebration… I’m very pleased as I still get the best wishes from many of my former skaters.
What was it like moving from your home in Russia to Canada to skate with Dylan? And what do you like most about living in Canada?
I would say my home is where my bag is and it is always with me :) I left my parents at 14 years old and moved to St Petersburg to skate pairs. Since then I became independent and responsible for my own actions. I have always loved Canada since 2010, when I came here for the first time for Skate Canada in Kingston. I knew Dylan as a very mature competitor, good, artistic skater and a strong partner. Teaming up with him I’ve also got a supportive friend, patient guide and just an amazing person! He reduced the difficulty of my transition from one country, culture, mentality, skating system to another one and still every day helps me adjusting. Thank you, Dylan!!!
I like everything about Canada!
Mostly… I like the friendship and warmth of the Canadian people. They are truly so supportive. Without it I wouldn’t be where I am now. I’m so happy to officially become one of them and proud to call myself Canadian!
So far, what has been a highlight or proudest moment as a pairs team?
Bronze medal at 4CC last year was the biggest highlight of our skating career. I was so proud that all our work as a team and my effort into it helped us win a bronze medal.
Looking forward with the Grand Prix series ahead, what can look forward to from Lubov and Dylan in 2017/2018?
New programs for sure :) as we never repeat ourselves, we always try new styles and new directions!
You had another pairs partner before, what’s different or what do you like about skating with Dylan?
It is hard to describe in one word… Dylan’s got a wonderful personality. He is friendly and empathetic to everyone, passionate and dedicated about his dreams, physically and mentally strong, always supportive and ready to help… I’m learning from him a lot and thanking him for his guidance, advice and the way he is! Thank you, Dylan!
What does your equipment and the #JacksonFamily mean to you?
I absolutely love my skates! I used to have a different brand, but after I tried Jacksons on, I never wanted to use anything else. They feel comfortable on my feet, nothing squeezing or pushing, hold the landings strong and solid.
I also switched to Matrix blades from a different brand and also am very happy with them. They keep the sharpening for a long time and the sound of landings is quiet, especially on the throws. So only positive feedback!
Additionally I have a few pieces of clothing which are very soft and warm and an awesome travel bag. This is a new way of traveling with comfort, having all your belongings with you, all sorted out and organized.
Huge thanks to #JacksonFamily for taking care of us!!!
⚡️ Lightning Round ⚡️
Favorite Food is: Cheese)))
Dine In or Out? Dine in
Favorite Sport Other Than Skating: Gymnastics
Cats or Dogs: None of those
Favorite Place to Visit? Canada and some parts of Europe
Favorite Place to Compete: Canada and Japan