SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Imagine what Jason Brown could accomplish with a quadruple jump in his repertoire. Add that most difficult of elements to his programs, and the American teen could go from finishing ninth in his first Olympics to winning major championships.
"For sure, for sure. It's really exciting what I've been able to do without the quad," Brown said. "That's a huge confidence builder and a huge excitement about what can happen in the future. I definitely think with that anything is possible."
The 19-year-old from Chicago was in sixth place but less than a point out of third after Thursday's short program at the Sochi Games. By the time he took the ice for Friday's final free skate, bronze was likely out of Brown's reach because of the points racked up by several competitors.
Then he two-footed his toe loop on his triple-triple combination and stepped out on his triple axel, both jumps marked down for under-rotation.
But the most costly mistake came when his foot appeared to slip on the takeoff for his double axel and he regrouped before trying it a second time. Under figure skating rules, the attempt counts as a jump, so his triple loop near the end didn't earn any points because it was technically one more jump than permitted.
Brown was 11th in the free skate and finished 16.73 points behind bronze medalist Denis Ten.
Still, a top-10 Olympic showing is an impressive achievement for a skater who wasn't sure at the start of the year if he should compete at the junior or senior level. He's working on his quad every day in practice, determined to contend at the next two Olympics. It took him 3½ years to develop his triple axel, but that forced him to polish the spins and footwork that allow him to score so many points despite the lack of a quad.
As of now, Brown isn't in line to skate at the world championships in March. The U.S. spots would go to Max Aaron and Jeremy Abbott, though Abbott said Friday he wasn't sure yet if he'd go to worlds.