Jason Brown has made a strategic coaching change, moving north of the border to train with Brian Orser, Tracy Wilson and their team at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club. His first day of training at the private club was May 29.
In an interview on May 28, Orser told International Figure Skating that Brown’s former coach, Kori Ade, supports this change. “I am good friends with Kori and she has given this arrangement her blessing,” Orser said. “She did a lot of good things with Jason and I told her we are going to keep this relationship open. There may be times when I need to call her to get some advice. Kori is a very good teacher and Jason was with her from the beginning of his skating career (18 years).”
In a statement released by U.S. Figure Skating on May 29, Brown said: “Words can’t ever fully capture the love and appreciation that I feel towards Kori and her team and all that we accomplished together,. Kori has and will continue to be a major influence on me as a skater and a person. When I left Chicago in 2013, I took a major step toward independence, but now it’s time for me to take the next step.
“I’m excited about my future with Brian, Tracy and their incredible team of coaches. I’m eager to continue growing in the sport that I love.”
Orser said “the time is right when the time is right to make a change. When you feel it, you feel it. It is great that he has another training option.”
Brown contacted Orser shortly after 2018 U.S. nationals asking about the possibility of training with him. Orser, in the midst of pre-Olympic preparations, said, “I had to check my dance card to see if I would have room. Then Jason came to the rink during a break in the U.S. Stars on Ice tour and he fit in so well. He is such a great energy to have around the rink. Tracy was really pushing for it, so we just had to do some juggling and figure out how we could make this work.
“We are going to take him on as a team so it is not just going to be one person working with him. I think on paper it will be Tracy and I as the main coaches but Karen Preston is going to work with him as will Lee Barkell. We can work with him technically, but we have to keep him healthy. He seems to be jumping in with both feet. It will all be new, but he will get the best of everything.”
Brown is boarding with a family that lives close to the rink. “He is a young adult so he can take care of himself,” Orser said.
Rohene Ward had already choreographed his short program, which Orser intends to keep. “Jason sent us a video and it looks good. I was happy with what I saw. We are now discussing costumes.” David Wilson will choreograph his long program.
Brown is in good company at the Cricket Club. Some of his new training mates rank among the best in the world, including Yuzuru Hanyu, Evgenia Medvedeva and Boyang Jin.