Highland Park-native Jason Brown came into the Beijing Olympics hoping to display the incredible artistic skill he brings to his figure skating routines, and he did exactly that on Thursday as he competed in the free skate event.
Brown, who entered in sixth place after the short program earlier this week, put together one of the best routines of his life in the free skate, nailing several difficult combinations and doing it with the poise and grace that have made him one of the most popular figure skaters in the world:
The judges gave Brown a score of 184 in the free skate, pushing his final score in the men’s competition to 281.24. That put him in second place behind Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu when he completed his performance, but he ultimately finished in sixth place in the event.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
Brown’s strong Olympic performances come after he was left off the United States team in 2018, something that motivated him to cope with the struggles that followed.
“I think my head got so hyper-focused that I felt like for four years I felt like I was in this stage that it was mine to lose,” he said. “I cut my hair, I switched coaches, I moved out of the country, I now train in Toronto. There were just little steps of kind of breaking free and starting new, and it allowed me to be a little more fearless.”