by Liz Leamy
(31 December 2021) Jason Brown, the 2015 U.S. Champion and a 2014 U.S. Olympian, has his sights set on two solid programs in Nashville to earn a podium finish and also clinch a spot on the 2022 U.S. Olympic team. [By U.S. Figure Skating rules, a podium finish is no guarantee of selection to the Olympic Team.]
This talented athlete, one of the leading program-component skaters in men’s skating today, has been training intensively at the Toronto Cricket Club in preparation for the U.S. Championships where he has been steadfastly running through his jumps, spins, footwork and programs on a daily basis with his coaches, Tracy Wilson and Brian Orser.
“I’m really looking forward to the U.S. Championships,” said Brown, a Highland Park, Illinois native. “I’m focused on training and taking things day by day. I’m really excited to show up at the U.S. Championships and am ready to go.”
In 2018 Brown began working with Wilson and Orser and their team in Toronto, at a time he had no quad jumps and was struggling with triple Axel. Since the change he has reemerged with a solid triple Axel and has consistently attempted quad toe loop in competition, though under-rotated. Nevertheless, through it all he has been a solid and entertaining performer.
Brown, who, over the past several years, has emerged as one of the most popular skaters of mainstream social media and internet sites such as YouTube (where his famous 2014 Riverdance program has had more than 2.5 million views to date), Instagram and Twitter, is all about just staying in the moment.
“It is about taking things day by day, but being as focused and present as possible for the tasks on hand,” said Brown. “The best kind of thank you I can give to the audiences is through my performance.”
Brown, in his characteristic candid and genuine fashion, said despite the fact he has faced some disappointments at certain points of his skating career (like just missing making the U.S. Olympic team in 2018), that these junctures have only given him greater strength, clarity and motivation in terms of his goals and intentions.
“I’ve just been loving it all every step of the way and am continuing to evolve,” said Brown. “I’ve always tried to be my authentic self and give a piece of that to the public.”
For Brown, this means expressing himself as optimally as possible through his skating and programs, which explains why he has drawn so much worldwide attention over the past number of years.
This season, Brown plans to use his signature programs to the music from ‘Sinnerman’ and ‘Schindler’s List’ for his short and free skate respectively, a decision he is clearly excited about.
“The programs were really a key part of what we were going to do this season,” said Brown, whose programs have been famously structured and designed by Rohene Ward, the renowned choreographer and former U.S. men’s competitor. “I was so comfortable with my short and I knew there was more to do with [the ‘Schindler’s List’ program.]”
Brown, meanwhile, stressed the importance of taking care of the imminent tasks at hand so he continues to do his job out on the ice.
“It’s about doing as much as I can that I have control over,” said Brown.
Certainly, Brown appears to have his feet firmly planted on the ground as he continues to soar swiftly through the sky and stars.
At Nationals, Brown will be skating against such fellow heavy hitters as Nathan Chen, the three-time U.S. World champion and five-time U.S. titlist and Vincent Zhou, the 2019 World bronze medalist. All three of these skaters qualified for the 2021-2022 Grand Prix Final this season, collectively making up half of the six total skaters who were slated to compete at this event, which ultimately was cancelled due to Covid restriction imposed in Japan
At the 2022 Winter Olympics, Brown would face off against Chen, Zhou, Yuzuru Hanyu, the two-time Japanese Olympic gold medalist and 2022 Japanese titlist, Yuma Kagiyama, the 2021 Japanese World silver medalist and Shoma Uno among others. Brown finished sixth in the Grand Prix standings for the 2021/22 season.
The men’s competition will be held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday, January 8th at 2 pm and on Sunday, January 9th at 11:15 am.