Even the leading teams of other countries think that this athlete is among the top deaf ice-players. Athletes from Canada and USA use a sign “the best” while talking about him in sign language. Stanislav Ilichyov is one of the leading hockey players of our time.
Stanislav, in how many Deaflympics did you participate? How do you feel about these “home” Games?
Deaflympics in Ugra will be the third in my sport career. I have my Deaflympic debut in Sweden in 2003. That time we were the silver medalists of the Games. In 2007 in Salt Lake City our team won bronze. The home Deaflympics make me feel both proud of my country and responsible for the good result to Russian sport fans.
Tell us, are you proud to be the captain of your team?
I became a team captain in 2011. Frankly speaking, I feel proud of this title, though it is a very big responsibility. In addition to the standard functions of a captain I am in charge of mental determination of my team. Athletes have to believe me.
Who brought you into ice-hockey?
I am playing ice-hockey since I was a kid. I was playing with my friends, though at that time we were wearing valenki instead of skates. I was always watching games of famous Soviet ice-hockey players on TV. I was a fan of Alexander Yakushev and Alexander Maltsev. When I was 11, my father noticed my passion for ice-hockey and bought me my first skates.
Were there any games in your career with unfair referee decisions? How did you react?
Yes, of cause, there were some situations like this. When such things happen you feel angry and indignant, but our coach teaches us to steer our energy in the right direction. He says us not to pay much attention to it and to continue playing as good as we can, trying to lead the game
Are you a tough guy?
Andrey Vasilevsky says that I am sort of a rough player. Ican’tjudgeaboutthismyself. Of cause I get penalties from time to time, however I try to avoid them not to let the team down.
What person you are in your everyday life? Do you have any time for hobbies in your tight schedule?
I am very quiet in real life. I try to spend my free time with the family. My wife Larisa and I have two kids: a son Maxim and a daughter Darya. We are attending event for kids, having picnics in summer, skating in winter. Son follows me in my footsteps and plays ice-hockey. And Dasha is very small yet.
How does your wife support you before the important competitions? Is your family going to Khanty-Mansiysk for the Deaflympics?
I am very grateful to Larisa for supporting me before any national and international tournaments. She cares a lot about the results of my team. My wife and kids are not going to Khanty-Mansiysk, because my son needs to go to school, but my father promised to come and support us.