Post by Admin on Dec 16, 2021 19:55:49 GMT
n January of 2018, when Jason Brown had missed the chance of making a second Olympic Games for Team USA, the figure skater says he faced a rock bottom in his career unlike anything he'd ever felt before.
"There was a little bit of a loss of identity," Brown, who just turned 27 on 15 December) told Olympics.com about missing out on the U.S. Olympic team for PyeongChang 2018.
"Once I hit that rock bottom and was able to look around and be like, 'It's just another day,' [then] you get up and you move forward and continue to do something you love," the American continued. "I made it out in my head that it's this unknown and that thing became unbearable to me. I went through that and I was like, 'Oh, this is what it looks like.' For me, it was my worst nightmare. And I lived and it was OK. From there I was able to have a better understanding and base of breaking free of those kinds of chains that held me back."
Brown, who is looking to qualify for a second Olympic Games having helped the U.S. to a team bronze at Sochi 2014, joined former teammate Meryl Davis - herself an Olympic champion ice dancer - as well as former competitive skater Elladj Balde for a first-ever Olympics roundtable on Twitter Spaces.
The three athletes discussed the mental approach to an Olympic season, dealing with the pressures that surround that and - for Jason - how he's pivoted after the Grand Prix Final was canceled earlier this month, an event Brown had qualified after winning two medals on the Grand Prix Series in the last two months.
"Full, full honesty, it was obviously a very difficult [situation]," said Brown. "To break that mid-season [routine] is definitely tough. The Grand Prix Final is a really exciting, fun event to attend. ... I came in that day, I sat down with my coaches and we made a different game plan moving forward. We tried not to skip a beat. We talked through a lot of different options training-wise and we decided our plan of attack and we didn't look back."
Then he added, with a laugh: "I gave myself a weekend to mope around a little bit."
You can listen to the full Twitter Space via the embedded tweet here. Read on to see some of Jason's answers below, as well. His responses have been edited for clarity and length.
Post by Admin on Dec 16, 2021 20:54:46 GMT
Olympics.com: Jason update us a little bit about where you are right now in terms of training and getting ready fo the U.S. Championships, which is in early January.
Jason Brown: It's really crunch time right now; we're about three and a half weeks [away]. So it's full-steam ahead.
This is the the period of the season where you can take the Grand Prix [Series] and reflect on it and then choose your plan of attack moving forward. [Looking at] the season, what did and didn't work... a time [for] fine-tuning and getting into an even better rhythm.
That being said, you're also in that period now where you have this opportunity to rebuild and just put in a lot of energy [into training]. You get a little bit of a break where you can just rebuild and start to really train the sections of each program and not worry about feeling like you've got a lot left as the week goes on.
Olympics: The Grand Prix Final cancelation could not have been easy. How did you handle that? And how did it add to the challenges you've faced the last two seasons?
Brown: I think that I had kind of allowed myself in a way - because the this season was going off without a hitch in terms of the events were continuing - that I kind of got back into my rhythm of just competing. You felt like the bubble system was something that people were getting very comfortable with and you felt very safe about. So I think the Grand Prix Final getting canceled for some of the athletes, I think was a little more difficult because you thought we had passed that point.
But again, it's bigger than us as athletes and we wanna make sure that we're as safe as possible.
I think allowing myself - and my coaches allowed me - to have kind have, uh, my form of a meltdown. Not too much, but breaking patterns and skipping some workouts and just having a chance to have that letdown and mix things up and then kind of then refocus because, yeah, it's difficult.
I said to Tracy [Wilson, his coach], 'I don't want to skate the session. I'm done.' But you come in the next day - after an event is canceled - and you train as if nothing happened. I came in the next day and I ran a full short and a full long. And then it like hit me the following day. I said, 'I don't want to be here, but I love skating.' [Laughs.] I didn't know what was happening. Tracy told me it was OK; she let me go home early. I canceled all of my pilates classes for the weekend - that's the moping. [Laughs.]
Staying in pajamas and not leaving the house - that's what felt right in the moment.
Learning from himself: 'It wore at me'
Meryl Davis: What do you attribute the shift in your thinking to? Is it maturity?
Brown: This is my third Olympic cycle. Every time I've approached it it's been different. Eight years ago now, leading up to Sochi, that was my first Grand Prix season. Everything was new and exciting and I just kind of soaked it up. I went into the 2017-18 season with much more of that mindset of, 'This is mine to lose.' It really messed with my head.
Four years ago, I was dreading, as each day passed, I was a like a turtle going back into its shell. I think it was the feeling of trying to continue to prove myself after 2014. I don't think I understood - it's still something I'm grappling with and understanding.
I struggle a lot with self-worth in terms of feeling as though I was good enough. I don't know if it was because I was sprung into the spotlight so fast when I was younger. It was the most incredible experience [in 2014], but it was something that I hadn't mentally wrapped my brain around. When I did it at such a young age, it became - for the next four years - all I could think about was the Olympics. It wasn't about the day-to-day. It was more that anything less than getting back on that [Olympic] team was not good enough. It wore at me and it ate at me.
Olympics: So has all of that experience helped you approach the Olympic season differently?
Brown: The last four years, I think having gone through that, not making the team, coming out the other end, learning so much about myself, continuing to grow and learn and finding my love for the sport again and the love for it, now I'm excited to see how it plays out. I can't wait to see how everything unfolds. I'm looking at it with much more of an excited scenario - versus, 'Oh my gosh, what's going to happen?!' sort of fear.
I went to the 2014 Olympics, super exciting; the next year I won the U.S. Championships. I was on that ascent. Things were going well. I hadn't gone through that real low, low point. I think that I didn't know how I was going to react to that [low] and what it was going to be like.
Olympics: Are you the type of skater who is following all the storylines around you? Or are you trying to have your blinders on and only focus on you?
Brown: Typically I'm more invested in the sport that kind of way, but I've really disconnected the last two years in terms of really focusing on putting my energy on what I can do on the day-to-day. There are so many factors that are constantly changing. It's fun to hear the storylines [from Meryl and Elladj] because I have not been following along this year.
That being said, what's so special about the Games, is just the fact that you're surrounded by the best athletes from all over the world. All are doing the sport that you love and that you're passionate about. There is a really amazing energy in that. You're in the height of your career. We have the opportunity to do what we love on the biggest stage in the world. That's what's magical about the Games. It's a cool celebration of sorts.
Olympics: You trained in Toronto with Hanyu Yuzuru, and your Japanese has gotten better and better. Where did that come from?
Brown: It's getting better. It's one of my passions. Obviously skating is so big in Japan and when I did my first Junior Grand Prix circuit back in 2010 - which I can't believe is 12 years ago - I got to experience that and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I want to be able to communicate with the fans.' I slowly started to learn. It's been 12 years of slowly learning.
Post by Admin on Dec 18, 2021 18:40:36 GMT
Competition Season Has Officially Begun! ⛸ | On Edge - Ep. 5
Post by Admin on Dec 19, 2021 18:30:05 GMT
One of the most popular sports at the Winter Olympics is figure skating. A world-renowned coach now makes Nashville home.
Her name is Kori Ade. She moved here in 2019 to head the elite level training within the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy at the Ford Ice Center in Bellevue and Antioch.
The beauty and the artistry don’t come easy. But in Nashville, learning how is now more accessible.
“That’s one of the coolest aspects of skating is that there is a track for everybody,” Ade said.
Ade has coached two Olympic skaters but works with the elite and the beginners all the same.
She moved here from Colorado Springs in 2019 with the promise she could build a program in Nashville.
News4 asked Ade what she wanted to create with her program.
“You’re seeing it so you’re seeing that we are meeting all of the athletes where they are and that’s one of the beauties of the sport in general,” Ade said. “And then philosophy of our program is really come to us and tell us what you want out of it, and we’ll tailor the experience for you.”
Ade is known for her “TAPS” program, which stands for “Total Athlete Performance Seminars.” She addresses the whole athlete, not just their performance on the ice, but every aspect of their life.
“It’s an individual sport so kids ten to get like isolated, you know, they become isolated. Many of them are homeschooled, so the athletes you see out there are homeschools and are homeschooling for various reasons, but a lot of them for the sport, so they’re isolated and lonely,” Ade said. “So, we try to create an environment that feels like a family. They’re able to come here. This is their friendship group. These are their people and because of that I really seek out coaches that have a nurturing way and make kids feel supported, and as I said, safe, and like they’re friendly and warm.”
What would it be like for some skater from Nashville to come to the program and succeed at the highest levels?
“I think it’s every program’s dream to have a homegrown athlete that is grassroots to the end of their career, you know, that you can see through,” Ade said.
How long would it take for someone to be able to compete at the Olympic level? Ade said 15 years working seven hours a day, six days a week on top of school.
When you see the figure skaters competing in the Beijing Olympics in February, you will have a better idea of what it took to get there.
The U.S. Figure Skating Championships will be held Jan. 3-9 at Bridgestone Arena. The championships serve as the final qualifying competition prior to the U.S. Figure Skating nominating athletes to the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team.
Post by Admin on Dec 20, 2021 21:40:57 GMT
Team USA will include more than 200 athletes at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, which open Feb. 4.
So far, 40 athletes have qualified or been named to the team. Athletes aren’t officially on the team until approved by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
More Americans will qualify for the Winter Games through Olympic Trials, domestic and international competitions and discretionary selections across skiing, skating, sliding and ice hockey running into late January.
Full men’s and women’s hockey rosters are expected to be named in late December or early January.
The figure skating team, made up wholly of discretionary selections, is set to be announced after the national championships end Jan. 9.
The Alpine skiing team will be decided via a mix of automatic and discretionary spots based on World Cup results this season through Jan. 16.
Here’s the up-to-date list of athletes already qualified for or named to the U.S. Olympic team:
Aileen Geving (alternate)
Colin Hufman (alternate)
Short Track Speed Skating