Area figure skaters showcased their amazing abilities on the ice in an array of whimsical performances at the May 9-10 Centennial Ice Arena Ice Show choreographed around the theme of “Let’s Dance.” The cast of over 150 skaters, from novices to champions, entertained and amazed during three individual weekend programs; each culminated in a surprise video recording from Centennial’s very own men’s figure skating Olympian, Jason Brown.
“Hey Centennial,” waved Brown. “This is the first time in 15 years that I haven’t performed in the Ice Show and I am so sad. I love you guys so much and want to send my love to everyone in the show with a special shout out to the graduating seniors.”
A resident of Highland Park and graduate of Highland Park High School, Jason learned to skate at a young age. When he was just five years old, his mother registered him in the Park District’s Learn–to-Skate Tot program at Centennial and he has skated and trained at the ice arena ever since. As his skill on the ice progressed, he began competing and succeeding in major skating competitions. In 2013, Jason became a World Junior Silver Medalist, and in 2014 he was selected to represent the United States on the men’s figure skating team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The team brought home a bronze medal. Jason’s remarkable talent, infectious personality, and crowd appeal resulted in his invitation to tour with Stars on Ice; the commitment that kept him from performing at the Centennial Ice Show. Jason still found a way to participate.
Following the Ice Show finale, the skaters on the ice were asked to face the large monitor where Jason, along with his fellow Stars on Ice performers, greeted his Centennial Ice Arena skating friends and instructors. In his unique style of humbleness and authentic sensitivity, he offered encouragement and support to his long-time friends. He also expressed his gratitude for the Centennial Ice Arena program and instructors and the tremendous support he has received from Highland Park.
“It was so thoughtful of Jason to offer to make this video and participate in the program remotely from California,” stated Centennial Ice Arena manager Nick Meo. “He has been and continues to be a wonderful role model and inspiration to all of the skaters in our program who can now say that they have skated with an Olympian.”
You can view Jason’s video on the Park District’s Facebook page or YouTube channel accessed from www.pdhp.org. For more information about the Centennial Ice Arena and the skating programs offered, call 847.432.4790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.