Jason Brown is a 2014 Olympian who helped Team USA to a bronze medal in the team event with his viral “Riverdance” free skate and his trademarked ponytail. Since Sochi, he’s won a U.S. national title, finished fourth and seventh at a world championships, and twice finished sixth at the Four Continents Championships.
Figure skating beginnings
Brown was born on December 15, 1994 and raised in Highland Park, Ill., which he said loved seeing him chase his Olympic dreams. “My hometown of Highland Park, Illinois was incredibly supportive during the Olympics,” he says. “Buses had signs wishing me good luck, stores displayed banners, a restaurant sold five onion rings in the shape of the Olympic rings, and an ice sculpture was modeled after me and displayed in the town center.”
He started skating at age 5 with his coach, Kori Ade, who still coaches him today.
Major competitions/ medals
Brown won a silver medal at the world junior championships in 2013 and by 2014, finished on the podium at the U.S. Championships to earn a trip to the Olympics.
In Sochi, Brown competed the men’s free skate for the team event, which earned a bronze medal. He also finished ninth individually.
He won a gold medal at the 2015 U.S. Nationals, but was kept out of the 2016 edition with a back injury.
His bronze medal at the 2017 U.S. Nationals earned him a trip to the 2017 World Championships, where he finished seventh. Along with teammate Nathan Chen, who finished sixth, the pair earned three berths for the U.S. men’s contingent at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.
In Brown’s own words: My “breakthrough” competition was the US Championships in 2010. It was an Olympic qualifying year and I became the junior champion. Watching the selection of the Olympic team made me realize that I could be competing for the Olympic Team in four years.
When he was named to the 2014 Olympic team, Brown became the first teenaged male figure skater to represent the U.S. at the Games since 1976.
Brown’s flexibility on the ice is one of his greatest strengths. He explains that his passion for connecting with the audience, and striving to open the sport to a broader audience, is what drives him in the sport.
He also says that while some competitors may want to push the technical limits of the sport, he wants to be the skater who pushes the artistic limits.
“I think that we are equally supportive of each other, but there is a clear frontrunner within team USA and I think that Jason Brown definitely is the most American American that there is.” – Ashley Wagner told media at the 2017 World Team Trophy event