Ready to rock Milwaukee this week at Skate America
by Liz Leamy
Jason Brown at 2015 U.S. National Championships
(19 October 2015) Jason Brown, the reigning U.S. champion and 2014 U.S. silver medalist, seems to be as focused as ever on having another memorable competitive season this year as he prepares to take on some of the world’s best at the 2015 Hilton Honors Skate America in Milwaukee this week.
The 20-year old Highland Park, Illinois native, in his usual upbeat manner, told reporters in a conference call last week that his main focus in regard to this upcoming celebrated annual competition, to be held October 22th to 25th, and all of the other main events on the horizon this season is to continue elevating his technical and artistic standard.
“I just want to improve on last season’s results,” said Brown, who has been training in Monument, Colorado, with his longtime coach, Kori Ade, for more than a year and a half now. “I’m always trying to better my score and trying to look more mature and commanding.”
This certainly seems to be a likely prospect, as Brown is known to be one of the hardest-working and most driven performers on the international competitive circuits today.
This past summer, Brown spent the entire summer training diligently under the watchful eye of Ade, as well as his choreographer, Rohene Ward, a former top American men’s contender who has become known as one of the sport’s most prolific program creators over the past few seasons.
Together, Brown, Ade and Ward have been working on everything from edgework, turns and power to spins, jumps and choreography as a means to keep raising the bar.
“Every year we try to up [the ante] of what we did the year before,” said Brown.
Brown, a two-time World Junior titlist, certainly seems to know how to make this sort of thing happen, as he has come to be regarded as one of the hottest rising stars in the global arena over the past few years.
Last season, he clinched fourth at Worlds, silver at Skate America and placed fifth at the Cup of Russia Rostelecom Cup, narrowly missing the final run-off of the top six contenders by just one place.
Meanwhile, he placed an impressive ninth at the 2014 Olympics following a memorable silver-medal finish at that year’s U.S. Championships, where he captivated everyone with his ‘Riverdance’ free skate at the TD Center in Boston, an NBC-televised program that went on to generate nearly five million hits on YouTube, a feat that wound up being a huge publicity milestone for helping to promote the popularity of the sport among the general public.
According to Brown, this year represents another important stepping stone for his development as a championship-level contender.
“This is another season and an opportunity for growth,” said Brown. “It’s [really all] about the excitement and desire to continue to better myself and get stronger.”
This season, Brown has selected the dramatic ‘Love is Blindness’ from the Great Gatsby film soundtrack for his short and Michael Nyman’s ‘The Scent of Love’ from ‘The Piano’ for his free skate to help showcase his electric skating skills and style.
“The programs are very different from last season and have been a fun task to tackle,” he said, adding the level of the transitions and skating skills have also been increased.
Brown, who scored gold at the Nepala Trophy in Czechoslovakia earlier this month, should be good for delivering a host of crowd-pleasing and award-winning programs this coming season, that’s for sure.
Determined to continue raising his technical bar, Brown, has working with Vincent Restencourt, a former French medalist and world contender, on all of his jumps, particularly the quad, since the beginning of the summer.
Since meeting, the two have been working on Brown’s overall jump technique, focusing on the power, height, flow, length and velocity of every element, especially the quad.
“I came in [to the rink] everyday with an open mind and it really clicked,” said Brown, explaining that Restencourt’s sole focus was his jump technique. “Vincent constantly reconfigures patterns and techniques to see what clicks.”
Obviously, their chemistry has been effective, as Brown was said to have been executing a clean, solid quad, a jump that he has been slowly starting to incorporate in his program repertoire.
At the end of the day, however, the main priority for Brown remains the overall performance aspect of his skating.
“I’m trying to have a bigger presence on the ice and be more commanding, you have to own who you are and own the program,” he said. “Maturity comes from how you hold yourself and is related to confidence.”
Without a doubt, Brown, who emanates as enigmatic and bright a personality off the ice as he does on, certainly seems to be maintaining strong momentum on that very road.