A year ago he was a senior walking through the halls of Highland Park High School, but on Tuesday he returned an Olympian.
Highland Park High School honored Jason Brown, fresh from Sochi, Russia, wearing his bronze medal before a packed auditorium of cheering students and the school band belting out the school fight song.
Although only 19, Brown had all the poise of an international star, but still maintained his humility as a hometown kid whose parents refused to uproot him from his public school friends so he could train full time for a future Olympics.
“My parents didn’t force me to skate,” he said at one point during a Q&A with students, as his parents, Steven and Marla Kell Brown looked on from their second row seats.
Brown looked genuinely surprised when the student band came tumbling out behind him to play Highland Park Giants’ fight song, and mouthed the words “thank you” during the National Anthem.
A clip of Brown’s in-the-zone free skate from the 2013 National Championships was flashed on a video screen behind principal Brad Swanson, who noted in his introduction that Jason Brown’s ponytail had 3,000 Twitter followers.
Never underestimating the importance of performance, Brown was all charisma but still humble, basking in the love from the hometown crowd, not quite believing it was all for him.
Whoever put a pair of skates on this kid and told him to dance on the ice to ‘Riverdance’ was a genius.
Enjoy the first video highlights from the Highland Park High School homecoming for Jason Brown. We’ll feature more video segments throughout the week and on the Highland Park Patch Facebook page.