For most people, solving a Rubik’s cube takes a lot of time. But a world-famous speed cuber proves you can do it in no time at all, while supporting a good cause.
The public was invited to Bend Church of the Nazarene on Tuesday night to see world-record-holder Max Park complete a demonstration to show off his Rubik’s cube skills.
At age 10, Park’s parents got him into competitions to help him socialize, as a child with autism. By his second competition, he was ranked in the top 100 fastest in the world.
It’s a skill that caught the attention of Bend pastor R.J. Strickland and his brother Travis, who recently received a shocking diagnosis.
“My brother was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and it’s reoccurred. And the window he was given was very short,” R.J. said. “And one of his dying wishes, life’s goal was to take his kids to go see a speed cubing competition.”
But the competition Travis originally planned on was too far out — in May of this year — and he might not live to see it.
The church decided to put together a small competition to try and fulfill the wish as best they could. And then, Travis decided to reach out to Max.
“He really didn’t expect him to even respond because he gets a lot of requests for different things. So he just reached out to the dad, told him the story,” R.J. said.
It was enough to bring Max and his dad, Schwan, to Bend for a demonstration Tuesday evening, providing a show that Travis and his sons couldn’t get anywhere else.
“As a parent with a child with autism, we’re looking for just hope or to find any…a sense of our kids are going to be okay,” Schwan said. “And we kind of thought maybe Travis might be thinking that, too.”
All proceeds from the event go toward Kim’s Hope, a local charity supporting people with brain cancer.
For the Stricklands, it’s all about making every second count.
“For us, it’s not some long term hope,” R.J. said. “It’s just to be in the moment, to love each other, and to be with each other and to create memories.”
Max performed a relay during the demonstration, completing seven different cubes of varying sizes in under five minutes.
Max’s talents are also featured in the Netflix documentary The Speed Cubers, which is based on his journey.