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Prominent Skating Coach Jim Hulick Dies of Cancer

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Jim Hulick, who coached Kristi Yamaguchi and Rudi Galindo to the national championship in pairs figure skating this year, died of cancer at 38 Sunday night in a West Covina hospital.

Hulick coached the pair for the last time at the prestigious NHK championships 16 days ago in Kobi, Japan, where they finished fourth. Complaining of fatigue, Hulick checked into the hospital upon his return.

“It always seemed like he blocked out his sickness for us,” Galindo said Monday from his home in San Jose. “It was like he was living through us. I really do have admiration for him, to put all the medical things aside to do something for us.

“I’ll never forget him standing there just before we would go out onto the ice and saying, ‘Just go out there and have fun.’ ”

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Hulick, a West Covina High graduate, teamed with Cynthia Van Valkenburg in winning the national junior pairs championship in 1971 and began coaching four years later. Operating in recent years from a rink in Dublin, Calif., he had about 30 students before learning in August, 1988, that he had colon cancer.

Although frequent trips to Southern California for treatment prevented him from maintaining a full schedule, he remained with Galindo and Yamaguchi.

In 1987, Hulick coached Galindo to the world junior championship. The next year, Galindo and Yamaguchi won the world junior pairs championship.

But the highlight of Hulick’s coaching career occurred on Feb. 11 at the Baltimore Arena, where Yamaguchi, 17, and Galindo, 19, skated a near-perfect long program to win the national senior pairs championship.

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Hulick’s family requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to the USFSA’s Memorial Fund, 20 First Street, Colorado Springs, Colo., 80906.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Forest Lawn Chapel in Covina Hills.


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