For show-stopping figure skater Jason Brown, a challenging career transition

For show-stopping figure skater Jason Brown, a challenging career transition

TORONTO – Jason Brown was feeling out possibilities to continue his competitive skating career with a new coach, and he figured it made sense to see what it might be like to work with Brian Orser and his team.

So, Brown came in mid-April to the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club, with no promise other than the opportunity to do a couple training sessions with the coaches who had produced singles champions at the last three Olympics. Orser & Co. already had a rink full of elite talents, with more expected, and he was not sure if there was room for another.

No sooner had Brown taken the ice with several other skaters, the room was his.

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Yu-Na Kim, Yuzuru Hanyu, Javi Fernandez and friends: how the Toronto Cricket Club became skating mecca

TORONTO - Put more than a dozen highly decorated figure skaters on the same practice ice at the same time, and there is bound to be some friendly in-your-face stuff.

Yuzuru Hanyu, Javier Fernández and Nam Nguyen will do quadruple jump after quadruple jump, each trying not to be the first to pop a jump or fall. Gabrielle Daleman and Sonia Lafuente will do the same with triples.

What each wants most, though, is to do well enough that Brian Orser, or one of his fellow coaches at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club, rings the 16-inch brass bell that hangs outside the glassed-in, computerized music room on one side of the ice surface.

That sound is the reward for anyone who does a clean run-through of a competitive program in practice.

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