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Monday, April 13, 2015


One day in January 2014, I received a message in my e-mail inbox from Mashable alerting me to a video that had gone viral.  My usual procedure is to delete these messages immediately.  This one did catch my eye, though.  Its bold headlines announced "FIGURE SKATER JASON BROWN REALLY KNOWS HOW TO WORK A CROWD".   Years ago, I used to watch and enjoy figure skating; but that was a long time ago.  Nonetheless, I decided to hit play and give this video a try.  Boy am I glad I did!  This guy didn't just skate--how to describe it!?  I don't know, but I do think there is some kind of magic involved.  His rendition of "Riverdance" on ice skates could simply not be humanly possible!  From that moment, I was hooked and once again following the sport of figure skating, eagerly awaiting any performance by Jason Brown.

Watching Jason Brown skate, was for me a life changing experience.  Only one other time had a performance had such a profound effect on me--Susan Boyle's unforgettable Britain's Got Talent audition.  These two, Jason Brown and Susan Boyle, have enriched my life immensely.  Something in their performances speaks to me on a level that is more than just entertainment--there is an extraordinary quality in each.  Both of these amazingly talented individuals are extremely charitable and giving, as well; each involved in numerous campaigns to help children in need and other organizations of their choosing.  They even make me proud when they're not performing!

Now I pay it forward at every possible opportunity.  As I did with Susan for years, now whenever company comes by I have the media player conveniently preset with my favorite Jason performances.  The same is true for family gatherings.  During the course of the conversation I'll ask if they've seen Jason Brown skate, or seen his latest performance.  Barely waiting for a reply I hit play, and everyone sits back, enthralled.  The response is ALWAYS positive, and I've created so many more Jason fans and, therefore, figure skating fans in this manner!

Jason has been taking us on his journeys with his blogs and social media posts from his various competitions.  Thank you so much for sharing these times and your insight with us, Jason!  It's in keeping with your extremely generous and unselfish motivations.  I really enjoy following your adventure!  It was while reading your recent blog from the World Championships in Shanghai, that I decided to write this article on my Blogspot.

Jason, you mention having just come to terms with your Olympic experience, and even made mention of having had a feeling of letting down the team, the skating association, and etc.  Of course you don't need me to tell you something that I know your tens of thousands of fans have already told you many times over.  But I felt it was important, nonetheless,  to let you know how you have affected this fan.  I understand that everyone has to have growing experiences and handle them in their own unique way building a solid foundation which leads to the goals in mind.  Your path to the top of the ranks was nothing short of amazing!  To dominate the 2014 U.S. Nationals with your stunning free skate rendition of Riverdance taking everyone by surprise (including yourself as I understand!) and landing a berth in the Olympics!  I think you had not much international experience at this point, while many Olympic competitors had previous Olympic experience and multiple senior level national and World Championships under their belt.  I think you held your composure very well and performed well under the circumstances.  Many much more experienced athletes fell apart at those Games in a way you never did!  From there to becoming U.S. National Champion just one year later!  And now 4th place in the World Championships!  What an amazing journey, indeed, and what an amazing skater!

Your positive attitude, sportsmanship and constant cheerfulness has been a huge and much needed boost for U.S. men's figure skating.  You have gained many fans for the sport (including myself and quite a few I have brought aboard by making them into Jason Brown fans).  From what I can gather, the sport of men's figure skating has been waning in recent years in the U.S.  I think the boost you have given it with your unparalleled artistry and positive attitude is priceless and has brought many, many new fans to the sport.  The importance of this at this time cannot be emphasized enough.

On NBC's coverage of the World Championships, they quoted your coach, Kori Ade, as saying (and I must paraphrase here) "Jason's legacy will not be the quad.  Jason's legacy will be his outstanding artistry".  Amen to that!  I'm not even going to get into the artistry vs. technical debacle that has been going on for years.  For me it's all about the artistry.  Your artistry is absolutely mesmerizing.  It is gorgeous and sublime. What is special about watching a bunch of the world's top skaters fall or mess up during quads at every major competition?  But to watch you skate, Jason; that's special!  You are special!  Thank you so much for the joy you bring us with each and every performance!