- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) - The parents and extended family of suburban Chicago figure skater Jason Brown are used to traveling as a pack to cheer him on at international competitions.

Following him to his first Olympics, though, is a whole new level of excitement.

“We’re still just so in shock,” said his mother, Marla Brown. “It’s hard to believe we’re really going to the Olympics to watch our son compete and represent our country.”

The 19-year-old from Highland Park will skate in individual and team events in Sochi and be eligible for two medals. He won the silver medal at the U.S. Men’s Figure Skating Championships last month in Boston, coming in behind teammate Jeremy Abbott.


Whether Brown wins, though, doesn’t matter to his parents.

“He’s already won because he’s going,” his father, Steve Brown, told the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald (http://bit.ly/1fVAyDm ).

Also traveling to Russia are the skater’s siblings, grandparents, aunts and other relatives.

Cousin Lisa Malvin said the family is “freaking out” and “pretty excited about it.” She also said she’s trying not to be concerned about security alerts for the games.

“We have to go; he’s in the Olympics,” she said. “We figure that if the athletes are safe, we’ll be OK.”

Steve Brown said it still seems unreal.

“I think when we’re sitting at that opening ceremony, watching with our binoculars, watching him walk in, (that’s when) it’ll sink in,” he said.

Steve Brown said he’s not worried about terrorism threats, saying he believes security at the games will be among the best in the world while the athletes are competing.

“I honestly believe it’s going to be very safe,” he said.

For those back home who can’t make it to Russia, the Centennial Ice Arena in Highland Park will host a viewing party from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 14.

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