Interview Jason Brown : "I often looked at Tracy and told her I couldn't do it"

© Alice Alvarez
© Alice Alvarez

For the second consecutive year, Jason Brown achieved a remarkable fifth place at the World Championships, while touring during the biggest part of the season.


How did you feel performing at Worlds?

Jason: Stepping out onto the ice and having that reception from the crowd was overwhelming in the most incredible way. I was so excited to be here. That reception from the audience filled me with much gratitude and excitement.


Were you nervous?

Jason: Of course. I'm always nervous, whether it looks like it or not. My goal is not to show that, but I'm nervous every time I go out to perform.


Can you tell us about your short program?

Jason : This short program is a mix of Tracy (Wilson) and Rohene (Ward). When we were playing around with this piece of music, we combined it with different versions of the song. One of them was that instrumental piece in the middle that's not on the normal track. We wanted to play with the tempo and the cadence. I'm always trying to improve and become better artistically. It was a cool challenge to work on this step sequence; the music doesn't give a specific tempo, but we were able to create it and work with the music.


Your season probably didn't start the way you wanted it to, with a third place at a Senior B in Warsaw. How did you regroup after that?

Jason: Warsaw was a wake-up call. I didn't skate the way that I wanted to. The programs weren't as trained as I wanted them to be. Tracy and I had that realization together. The wave that I was riding ended. It had much to do with taking on two new pieces of music. I didn't take a break after Worlds. I continued doing shows without taking a moment to slow down. In Warsaw, I realized we needed to regroup, so we made some changes and did our best to move forward. I have an incredible team of people that I work with who are keeping me healthy. It has been six years living in Toronto and working with Tracy Wilson and Brian Orser. The amount that I've learned will last me a lifetime. I'm still learning, of course, and they're two of the best coaches in the World.


What changes did you make?

Jason: I went back to my old long program. The programs I had set forth were not doable with the schedule I laid out for myself. It was just a huge weight off my chest to go back to an old program that I was more comfortable with. That was the biggest change. I also took two weeks off after Poland to go back home.


Did you ever consider skipping Nationals or Worlds, taking a break, and coming back next season?

Jason: Yes, 100%. I often came to Tracy, thinking we should call it. The support from US Figure Skating, my coaches, and my family greatly helped. I told our high-performance director, Justin Dillon, about the contracts I signed and the schedule I had already agreed to. He said, "OK, we'll work with you." He knew going into the season was a gamble. I'm marking my own path and carving my own way of doing the competitive and professional journey of the sport. I often looked at Tracy or sports psychologists and told them I couldn't do it. They told me to take it day by day. That's what we've done.


© Alice Alvarez
© Alice Alvarez


We then spoke with Tracy Wilson to delve into Jason’s season and his future goals.


What do you think about Jason's path?

Tracy: When you're an outlier, it's very lonely. However, he receives a lot of love from the audience and his peers in the sport. It comes from such a pure place. This is the World's biggest stage, next to the Olympics. For him to have that opportunity is such a privilege, and it's one that he doesn't take lightly. I see how he trains himself and works on his body and his discipline. He's got his eye on seeing how much he can do.


Why do you call him an outlier?

Tracy: It's uncharted territory. In his mind, he was going to be done after the Olympics and couldn't see past it. He told me how much he loved performing when he was on tour. At the end of the year, he said that he wasn't done. He wanted to train more and be committed. It's been a journey for him. When I skated, I had a chance to perform in shows too. I learned so much that it changed how I performed and competed. Jason hadn't had that experience. We also saw that as an opportunity because he hadn't had an audience for a couple of years because of COVID.


How has he been able to get ready for Worlds? He performed in Japan in March, just before flying to Montreal.

Tracy: Our whole strategy was to use the performances as training. We asked him if he could do a competitive number in the show and if he had training time. He did his short program every night in Japan, which he needed. He already had more experience with his free program in front of an audience.


Jason said that he is open to skating up until 2026. What sort of challenges do you see him facing when taking that path?

Tracy: It's always about improving. I know he wants to make gains technically and still artistically. Artistically, with new material, and technically, we will explore options with him.  



Solène Mathieu - Skate Info Glace

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