- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) - Figure skater Jason Brown has earned kudos from his hometown in suburban Chicago as he prepares to travel to Russia to compete in the Sochi Olympics.

Highland Park has declared Feb. 7 “Jason Brown Day” and residents plan to wear ribbons and put them on their door knobs and trees to honor Brown, The News-Sun in Waukegan reports (https://bit.ly/1jO6w8t ). The 19-year-old graduated from Highland Park High School.

Brown earned one of two men’s figure skating spots on the U.S. Olympic team. He had a silver-medal finish at the U.S. Men’s Figure Skating Championships earlier this month in Boston.

The suburb also plans to post a new sign at the entrance to its Centennial Ice Rink that says “Home of Jason Brown.” Brown got his start skating at the rink’s Learn-to-Skate classes.

The suburb had an event Monday to announce its plans. Brown’s brother, father, aunts, uncles and grandparents attended the celebration.

“I miss home so much,” Brown said via online video stream from Colorado, where he trains. “I am so proud to be from Highland Park. I am so lucky to have grown up in such a warm and inclusive . community.”

Highland Park High School Principal Brad Swanson said, “I think this is a once-in-a-thousand lifetimes experience for us to have a hometown Olympian.”

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