Oona & Gage Brown, the 2019 U.S. pewter medalists, come from a family of seven children. They competed as part of Team USA during the 2018-19 season and finished ninth and eighth at their Junior Grand Prix events. The 2019-20 season marks their second at the junior level. The duo has set up a GoFundMe.com account to help raise money to support their skating expenses. Continue reading to learn more about this sibling team from New York.
When and how did you start skating?
We were introduced to skating in 2009, our older sister started taking lessons and we were inspired to start soon after. I [Gage] started one year later when I was 7 and quickly jumped up the ranks in basic skills. Oona started that same year when she was 5, for an entire year she clawed her way around the rink refusing any help or to get off.
How did you choose ice dance?
We started off skating singles and after two years of competing we were convinced to start skating as a pairs team. After a year, both of us agreed that pairs wasn’t for us but we liked working as a team, so ice dance was our next logical step. Since then, we’ve fallen in love with ice dancing and can’t imagine life without it.
What do you like most about ice dance?
We feel like we are able to express ourselves more on the ice with each other, skating as a team definitely gives us more confidence. Both of us when skating singles would get pretty nervous before competitions, we still get nervous but no where near as much as we used to. We’re also not a huge fan of the jumps so we’re pretty glad we don’t have to do those anymore.
Who are your coaches and where do you train?
Our coach is Inese Bucevica and we train on many rinks on Long Island. Our coach works with us at the Dix Hills Rink and we practice on our own time at our nearby rink, The Rinx.
What is the best thing about skating with your sibling?
The comfort level for sure. We naturally are more in sync on the ice and since we’ve basically known each other our whole lives communicating is a lot easier.
Do you think there are obstacles siblings face that others do not?
Yes. Sometimes being siblings limits what you feel comfortable portraying on the ice. Also we see each other basically 24/7 so it’s easy to get on the others nerves.
Tell us about a typical training day.
We wake up at 5 am and skate from 6-9. We then do our school work and eat lunch before getting back on the ice from 1-3. This is followed by an hour of off ice training followed by some running.
What skaters do you look up to?
We really enjoy watching Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron as well as Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. However, the first teams that really inspired us in ice dance was Meryl Davis and Charlie white as well as Sinead and John Kerr.
How do you come up with your programs each season? Tell us about your choice for the 2019-20 season.
The creative process is hard to describe but it’s usually a play back and forth with us and the choreographer to find the best fit. This coming season we’ve decided to go with a more classical program for the free dance which is new for us. For the rhythm dance the theme this year is Broadway so we’re looking forward to bringing our show side out.
What has been your favorite memory in your skating career so far?
By far when we were assigned to our first international competition in Oberstdorf, Germany. This was our first experience out of the country and getting to compete against teams from other countries was amazing, but the cherry on top was placing third.
How do you like to spend your off-ice time?
We actually do a lot, almost the whole family runs competitively in races around LI. We also play in two Irish marching bands I [Gage] play the bagpipes and Oona plays the snare drum. Music is a huge part of our lives and Two of my brothers and I have a band, The Brother’s Brown. Oona likes to craft, I like to cook, and we all like just chilling out together.
What are your goals for this season?
We’re looking to place at as many competitions as possible, to be assigned to more than one Junior Grand Prix event, to make it to Nationals and place top three there, and to reach our full potential.