If you envision an Olympic athlete, what do you consider? I had the pleasure of sitting down with US Olympic Determine Skater Jason Brown. For somebody who should maintain such composure throughout their sport, he was so carefree and had a little bit of a childlike spirit about him. Generally we overlook that Olympians are actual, on a regular basis individuals too. It didn’t take lengthy for me to understand that in his bubbly persona.
Jason grew up in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago. He watched his sister undergo ice skating classes as a child and it wasn’t lengthy afterwards that Jason joined her. He continued to play different sports activities whereas he skated as a child. It wasn’t till someday he was in a junior excessive and realized the place his coronary heart belonged. He was on the soccer subject and the event resulted in a loss, the complete staff was crushed. Jason merely thought to himself, “I don’t perceive why everyone seems to be so upset, it’s simply soccer, guys!!” This second adopted a skate shortly after and Jason didn’t carry out to his expectations, and finally, he was heartbroken. “I hadn’t given it my all, and that’s when it actually shifted.” It was then he knew that he was able to commit to only his skates.
Jason received his first Junior Nationwide Title on the age of 15, which additionally occurred to be the identical yr because the Vancouver Olympics. He sat and watched his fellow Senior teammates compete for a spot on the US Olympic staff, and his wheels began turning. “In 4 years, I hope I can simply be on the opposite facet, I simply need an opportunity to say I competed for a US Olympic spot.” Jason additionally began competing on the worldwide stage that very same yr. His first journey to Italy actually opened his eyes to a complete new world. Success after success, Jason lastly discovered himself on the US Olympic staff for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. And when you’ve adopted his success through the years, he walked away with a bronze medal for the Males’s Crew Skate. To not unhealthy for the 19 yr who simply wished to compete for a spot on the staff!
Now, many youngsters at this age would probably have been faraway from public faculties. Jason’s dad and mom insisted on maintaining him in class, elevating him at residence together with his siblings, and maintaining as a lot of his life as regular as attainable till he graduated from highschool. He was allowed to go away for competitions throughout spring break, winter break, and over the summers. He deliberate together with his lecturers forward of each journey that prompted him to overlook college, scheduling tutoring periods and bringing homework with him throughout each single journey. He praised his lecturers to no finish, “I couldn’t have executed it with out the help of my lecturers. They have been very adaptable, and I couldn’t have stability with out them.”
Very like the remainder of the world, Jason had many hurdles to leap by means of going into the 2022 Olympics. Competing throughout a worldwide pandemic requires far more consideration to element. Jason was required to check for COVID-19 on quite a few events. He defined essentially the most hectic a part of the complete Olympic expertise this time round was the lead as much as the departure. Many issues needed to be executed, coaching was being wrapped up, and he wanted to by some means keep inside his little “bubble” to make sure he would by no means take a look at constructive for COVID-19. “As soon as we have been there, it was so organized, and it grew to become so routine. Daily we bought checked, you have been at all times carrying masks. You felt very protected within the bubble, it was simply entering into the bubble that was exhausting.”
Competing with out crowd help additionally provides one other advanced layer to the bubble. Nonetheless, he said that at this level he’s been competing with out followers for two years. “Is it supreme? No. However it wasn’t new.” When requested about his future plans on the ice, he wasn’t certain the way to reply. Will we see him on the ice 4 years from now? Even he’s undecided. At solely 27 years outdated, he’s seen plenty of success and his physique has been by means of fairly a bit.
However how about his thoughts? Seeing success at such a younger age, the strain was continuously constructing. He at all times had an identification situation that made him really feel as if he wasn’t adequate. “I bought wrapped up in placing my identification into one total basket, and if I had a foul day on the rink, it weighed increasingly on me. I felt like a disappointment.” In 2018 he broke and his threshold was uncovered. He “bombed” his first efficiency and he actually unraveled. Quickly after, he sought out the psychological steering he so desperately wanted. He made fairly a number of adjustments and utilized all the things he discovered to make sure he wouldn’t have to hold his skates ahead of he wished.
On the finish of the day Jason at all times falls again onto the quote by Oscar Wilde, “Be your self, everybody else is already taken.” This was one thing he needed to engrain after his battle with psychological well being through the years, and it’s stored him grounded. “Nobody is YOU and nobody can do what YOU can do. And I feel there’s one thing so particular in that, particularly in a world the place we’re continuously evaluating ourselves.” These are phrases that may be translated into so many sides of life. Whether or not it’s in work, your private life, or on the run. Jason encourages everybody to focus in your objectives, however to the take these cheat meals, off days, or psychological breaks as wanted. You’ll be able to’t do all of it, however you are able to do nice issues when you’re true to your self.