From Monument to Sochi and the Winter Olympics

Figure Skater Brown trains at the Colorado Sports Center

Photo by Jared Wickerham Getty Images
Jason Brown, 19, skates during last month’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden in Boston. Brown is a Chicago native who trains at the Colorado Sports Center in Monument. His free skate has been watched more than three million times on YouTube.
Danny Summers

When the XXII Winter Olympics open in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 7, Monument resident Jason Brown will be among those taking part in the opening ceremonies.

Brown will represent the United States men’s figure skating team as he continues his unlikely quest to become the best in the world.

Brown, who turned 19 last December, is a Chicago native who came to the Tri-Lakes area last year so that he could train at the Colorado Sports Center.

“I love the environment,” Brown said. “I love skating in Monument. It feels more like home now that I’ve been here a while.

“I can train the same way I did at home. And having access to the (Olympic Training Center) is such a positive. I really am trying to make the most of that resource.”

Several high-level skaters train with Brown at the Colorado Sports Center.

Brown shocked the skating community in January when he finished second at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston. Jeremy Abbott won the U.S. title.

Interestingly, Abbott is a 2004 graduate of Cheyenne Mountain High School. Abbot’s mother, Allison Scott, is a director of communications at The Broadmoor.

“Jason is the nicest kid,” Allison Scott said. “We’ve become friends with the Brown family. As the ‘elder statesman’ Jeremy is mentoring Jason through this process.

“Jason is just so amazed that he’s going. Jason’s really looking forward to learning from Jeremy.”

Brown is hoping this is more than just a learning experience. But as Scott notes, Olympic competition is at a different level.

“The men’s singles events are going to be tough,” Scott said. “Japan is really strong. Of course there is always Patrick (Chan of Canada).

“Jeremy and Patrick train together in Detroit and they know one another’s skating very well. They have also become good friends.”

Brown has become an overnight sensation. His electrifying performance at the U.S. Nationals was uploaded to YouTube and within days had more than three million hits.

At the U.S. Championships, Brown showed why he has a chance to bring a medal home from Russia. He skates clean and with a lot of enthusiasm but doesn’t take a lot of chances — like cram his program with jumps. He doesn’t have a quadruple jump in his arsenal.

The quad, he said, has been seen as a dividing line between skaters in recent years. America’s Evan Lysacek didn’t perform one of the difficult jumps on his way to winning the gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

It has been a whirlwind last month for Brown, who he is a part-time student at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he is majoring in English and Japanese.

Brown’s coach is Kori Ade. The two have been together since he was 5.

Ade notes the advantages her skaters have of training at altitude and having access to the Olympic Training Center.

“They have a lot of great sports medicine and information,” she said. “And the opportunity to go to the dining hall and eat with elite athletes can’t really be duplicated elsewhere.”

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