VIDEO: Team USA Figure Skater Jason Brown On Coming Out As Gay, Renewed Passion For Skating
Team USA figure skater Jason Brown was one of the youngest figure skaters to ever win a medal at the Olympics when he took home the Bronze medal in 2014, and now he is prepared to skate again at the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.
Brown came out as gay last June, when asked if is compelled to make a statement about being an openly gay man competing in China, he said that he believes that he can make a statement by giving it his all on the ice.
“I think for me our sport is such an incredible outlet of expression, and so how we express ourselves through music and our program is so important to what makes skating so special. It’s an art form,” he said. “So for me, I put everything out there in my performances. I hope I can take that to the biggest stage in Beijing and lay it all out on the ice.”
After his last Olympic performance Brown felt burnt out but now has a renewed passion for his sport.
“Making an Olympic team as a teenager was so exciting, but it just happened because I was in the day-to-day and unfolded the way it did,” he said. “After that 2014 team, I had this hyper-focus of, ‘I need to make another Olympic team.’ Whether it was to prove myself, or whether it was nothing will ever amount to that experience … that’s where my head went instead of the day-to-day process. It went to ‘Oh my god I have four years. I need to better myself. I need to be on that Olympic team to prove myself.’”
“I lost myself in that process,” he continued. “I lost my love for the sport and I definitely felt burnt out four years ago. I didn’t have a direction. I felt like I had more inside of me, but I didn’t know why I wasn’t able to perform at the level that I wanted to. After the 2018 U.S. Nationals, missing the Olympic team and being the first alternate … for me, that was rock bottom. It sent me on this trajectory to break all the barriers and all the rules I had set for myself to figure out who I was, and to rekindle my love for a sport that I knew I loved so much but had lost some of that love. So that’s been the last four years. I changed a lot of my training. I moved countries to train … just really trying to figure out who I was in the sport and really trying to push myself. It’s been a journey, but the love is there. Coming into this final stretch, I’m energized more than ever before and enjoying the process.”