Krueger comes from a family of Rubik’s Cube wiz-kids. Thaddeus’s brother, Ivan Krueger, a Cedarville freshman electrical engineering and mathematics major also from Beavercreek, held qualifying times in 2018 for 16 of the 18 national Rubik’s Cube events, which entails having an average solve time under 40 seconds for the traditional cube.
Wanting to qualify for every event pushed Ivan to practice at least three hours a day for two straight weeks at the most unusual Rubik’s Cube event, solving a 3x3 cube with your feet, according to a Cedarville University release.
All the hours of practicing forced Ivan to push through intense foot pain in order to compete at Flag City Spring 2018 in Findlay and broke the Ohio state record for a “feet-solve” by finishing in 38.46 seconds.
After that competition and the diagnosis of a pulled foot muscle, Ivan reached his goal of competing in all 18 events at CubingUSA Nationals 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Only nine of the 907 competitors at nationals participated in all events.
“Learning to solve a Rubik’s Cube with my feet helped me realize that if I set my mind on something, I’m pretty good at figuring it out, even if I’m not good at it in the beginning,” Ivan said in a news release. “This mindset has helped me with other problems too. If I actually put in the time and push through the pain I can accomplish a lot.”
As full-time college students, the brothers don’t have as much time to practice Rubik’s Cube solving competitively. Though they have had time to teach both their 80-year-old grandmother and 4-year-old sister to solve the universal puzzle.
“I have always loved being able to do things that I have never been able to do before,” Thaddeus said. “I push myself in whatever I am doing, whether it is school or activities, and this talent is just proof of that.”