Thursday, January 23, 2014

Boy Meets World: Jason Brown's Meteoric Rise

If you didn't know the name Jason Brown before the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston two weeks ago, you do now. The 19-year-old Illinois native went from being an up-and-coming skater earlier this season, to someone who has now officially arrived. Brown, who competed for the first time as a senior internationally this fall, captured the silver medal at Nationals, earning one of two coveted Olympic spots.

Brown first brought skating fans to their feet at the 2011 Nationals in Greensboro with this must-watch, rousing freeskate to "Nessun Dorma":

The performance was a harbinger of great things to come.

In Boston, the ponytailed-Brown ignited the audience with his warm personality, broad smile, complex choreography and impressive skating skills.

In his short program Brown set the tone with his popular program to the Prince song, "The Question of You."

In the freeskate, the crowd was Brown's from the start. I was there, in the fourth row, to witness, one of the greatest, most well-received freeskates in the history of Nationals. From the time Brown took the ice, the crowd was going crazy. When the program began, the audience's enthusiasm grew with each jump. By the time Brown skated to the end of the rink, about to start his footwork sequence, the crowd erupted in anticipation of the entertaining footwork sequence in time to the Riverdance music. Before the program ended, everyone in the crowd was on his/her feet cheering wildly. It was an extraordinary moment!

Now Brown's freeskate has been the talk of social media, even appearing on the popular Web site, Buzzfeed:

If you haven't already seen Brown's program, or if you simply want to enjoy it once again, take this opportunity to cherish a fantastic moment in U.S. Championships history. Congratulations for stealing the hearts' of the audience, Jason Brown! Best wishes to you in Sochi!

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