Jason Brown – A Dad’s Hero

5 Jun

Editor’s note: In the last six months, Olympian Jason Brown has won over countless fans throughout the world, including first lady Michelle Obama and Russian superstar Evengi Plushenko. His Riverdance free skate has achieved cultlike success, with more than 4.3 million views on YouTube. While training for the post-Olympic Stars on Ice tour in Monument, Colo., Brown met two more of his young fans, Lucie Reizian and her friend Delaney Peterson, at the Colorado Sports Center. It was there that Brown also won over the admiration of Lucie’s father Greg, who shares his story below.

By Greg Reizian

Jason Brown wastes no time sharing smiles, ideas, encouragement, skating skills and most importantly, his humanity. In less than one month’s time, I went from recognizing him from TV clips to a chance meeting at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, leading to a second encounter at Colorado Sports Center. There was my daughter, Lucie, and her good friend Delaney, two hardworking pre-juv’s, sharing the ice with Jason and several other top-level skaters. Hearts anxiously pounding at first, the girls settled into their practice routines after a good warm-up. With far less fanfare, Jason did the same.

Jason, who will be touring with Stars on Ice, keeps mastering his world-famous Riverdance routine. His music begins. Most skaters take a break along the boards to watch. Others, including Lucie, continue trolling the ice, aware of but not conspicuously avoiding a certain male skater whizzing by. I watch from an open door as my wife captures everything on her phone’s video camera.

Lucie synchronizes a double loop with one of Jason’s triple Axels. Amazing! She’s becoming quite casual about this arrangement when midway into his routine, Jason’s footwork lands him all too quickly at her doorstep, forcing him to step out. Thankfully there is no contact.

She realizes her mistake and takes refuge at the east end of the rink with her friend. Jason, whose moves and footwork were interrupted for four to eight bars of the music, acts like nothing happened. No expression of anger, frustration or contempt. Calm, cool and focused.

Later, Lucie, still somewhat mortified, approaches Jason to apologize. He informs her she had nothing to apologize for, that the ice was everyone’s to share, and then smiled and hugged her. For saving my daughter in this way at that moment, Jason became my hero.

Lucie-Jason-Delaney

L-R: Lucie Reizian, Jason Brown and Delaney Peterson

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