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Wayne resident Addison Brown represented Team USA in France

Addison Brown performs with the synchronized skating team.

By Sarah Shurge – Through years of blood, sweat, and hard work, Addison Brown went from learning how to skate at the Wayne Recreational Center when she was 4 years old, to representing Team USA while skating in France at 17 years old.
At the young age of four, Brown was taken to the Wayne Rec to try ice skating for the first time on a free skate day.
“I remember I didn’t want to get on the ice,” said Brown. “We left but then I realized I wanted to try.”
That same week she asked to go back and try it again.
“Then I didn’t want to get off the ice,” said Brown.
After that, Brown’s mother, Renee Brown signed her up for lessons to learn how to properly skate instead of just open skating. At 6 years old, Brown started skating on a team and doing ice shows.
Five years ago Brown started synchronized skating.
Synchronized skating (often called synchro), is where anywhere between 8-20 skaters perform together as a team. They move as a flowing unit over the ice at high speed, while performing elements and footwork.
Brown now belongs to the Wayne-Westland Figure Skating Club and is also on the Junior Hockettes Synchronized Figure Skating Team.
The Hockettes Synchronized Skating Team is the Nation’s first team.
It was created in 1956 when the team first performed during intermission at University of Michigan Hockey games and in the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club ice shows.
As people in the skating community saw the team perform, more teams came together and the sport of synchronized (precision) skating began.
“I used to prefer freestyle, but I like them [freestyle and synchronized] the same,” said Brown. “It depends on the day, but synchro will always have a big place in my heart.”
Brown has competed in countless competitions throughout the years, achieving titles such as Gold Medalist in the Preliminary – PreJuvenile Artistic Duet Championship, to Bronze Medalist in the PreJuvenile Plus Excel Championship, and many more.
As of January 2024, Brown is a Gold Tested Skater in Skating Skills, which is the highest level you can achieve.
Monday, February 26th, Brown received a letter confirming she had successfully passed the U.S. Figure Skating tests.
This season with the Junior Hockettes Synchronized Figure Skating Team, Brown has traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, California, qualified to represent Team USA at the French Cup in France, and then the U.S. Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Brown was in Rouen, France from Monday, January 29th through Sunday, February 4th.
“Representing Team USA was a big goal for me,” said Brown. “It’s my first year on this junior team, and I didn’t expect my first year to be as successful as it was. When I found out we made Team USA, it’s something everyone dreams of but I never thought in a million years I would represent it.”
The Junior Hockettes competed on Friday, February 2nd, and Saturday, February 3rd, at Centre sportif Guy-Boissière. They competed against teams from Canada, France, Finland, United Kingdom, Spain, and Australia.

(Above), Addison Brown shows off her Team USA sweatshirt.

“It was the best moment of my skating career,” said Brown. “It hit me on the ice in France, like ‘I’m really representing Team USA.’ It kinda felt like a dream. We were signing autographs and little kids would ask us to kiss papers.”
The Junior Hockettes placed fourth in the French Cup.
After returning home from France, Brown immediately had to prepare for the U.S. Championships.
Brown was in Vegas from Sunday, February 18th, through Sunday, February 25th. The Junior Hockettes competed on Wednesday, February 21st, and Thursday, February 22nd.
They placed eighth in the U.S. Championships.
Outside of traveling around the world skating, Brown is in her junior year of high school and has to maintain a skate-life balance.
A typical day for Brown after school looks like: 6 p.m. – arrive at skating practice. For one hour – off-ice work (lifts, questions, timing errors). For two and a half hours – on ice work (programs, run-throughs, drills, and training). For 15 minutes – team stretch. Some practices have ballet after ice. Around 10:30 p.m. – arrive home.
You might wonder when she has time for homework.
“For practice, I just stay up all night to do homework and study. I just ditch sleep,” said Brown. “For competitions, I have to tell teachers far in advance. Usually teachers are supportive. I get home from a competition and grind on homework for two days straight to catch up.”
Even with her demanding skating schedule, Brown keeps her education a priority.
“I try to be as smart as possible with my work, and make sure I get all my work done as early as I can,” said Brown. “Getting into college is a big goal. I want to do skating in college and then after college become a coach.”
Her hard work and actions don’t go unnoticed.

The synchronized skating team in France.

“As a parent, it’s so nice to see the hard work,” said Renee. “She sacrifices a lot of free time, time with friends, and sometimes school. She’s had to take so much time off this year and is still making everything work. I’m just proud of her that she can balance everything, and she doesn’t really complain.”
Brown skates about 20-30 hours a week.
Since skaters do testing during the summer, there is no off season. Skating is a year-round sport.
“It’s a very demanding sport,” said Brown. “It’s hard to be a skater, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it and it’s enjoyable because it’s what I love to do. Many times I wanted to quit, but I got past it because this is something I worked really hard for. You have to stay positive.”

Brown will be competing with her PCEP team in the High School Skating State Championships on Saturday, March 9th, and Sunday, March 10th – competing individually in the Excel Juvenile Freeskate championship and representing the PCEP Team during the B team Championship round.
“I wish people knew how much of an athlete you have to be to do this,” said Renee. “The Hockettes invented the sport in this state and very few people know about it. Once the Rec and the ice rink closed, no one knows it exists still, but it’s still out there and we should support it.”
This month, you have a chance to support Brown and her synchronized figure skating team locally.
You can watch the 2023-2024 Team USA Junior Hockettes perform both the Short and Freeskate Program for the last time for the season on Friday, March 15th, and Saturday, March 16th at the Melody on Ice Show at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
“It’s not very often you get to see a Team USA member skating locally,” said Renee.
For more information about the Melody on Ice Show, visit annarborfsc.org/Schedules/MelodyOnIce.aspx.
Brown will also participate in the annual Wayne-Westland Figure Skating Club Ice Show at Mike Modano Arena on Friday, April 19th, through Sunday, April 21st.
For more information about the Wayne-Westland Figure Skating Club, visit: wwfsc.org
Brown’s private coach is Julie Marchand, who grew up in Wayne and was the Ice Director at the Wayne Recreational Center.
“I’m just reminding myself that it’s hard right now, but when I finish, I’ll feel good about myself. I’m getting used to it, and the more I do it, the more I learn to handle it,” said Brown. “It doesn’t come easy and it’s not given to you. You have to work hard for it.”
We congratulate Brown for representing Team USA and we wish her the best with her future skating endeavors!

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