By Johanna Bear and Gina Capellazzi
Photos by Leah Adams
At the Colorado Sports and Event Center in Monument, Colorado, you’ll find two 19-years-old training and working hard for the 2014-2015 figure skating season. Besides sharing the same coach and choreographer, there are a lot of other similarities between them. Both came home with a silver medal from Boston in January. Both then went on to represent their country at the international level and finished in the top 10; ninth place to be exact. Did we also mention that they both moved from Chicago to Colorado to train and their names both start with the letter “J”?!
Jason Brown and Jordan Moeller are both 19-years-old. They are both coached by Kori Ade and Rohene Ward has choreographed their programs. Jason won the silver medal at the senior level at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston and Jordan followed suit with the silver medal at the junior level. At the international level, Jason won a bronze medal at the team event and finished ninth in the individual event at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Jordan saw similar success with a ninth place finish in his first World Junior Championships.
While a lot of attention has been given to Jason as a result of his success this past season, Figure Skaters Online wants to shine the spotlight on his training mate, Jordan. The reigning U.S. junior silver medalist is making his senior debut this season.
Jordan started skating at the age of four at the Oak Lawn Ice Arena in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Just like many other male skaters, Jordan started skating after he grew bored of sitting and watching his sister taking lessons. He never thought that, fifteen years later, he would be completely immersed in the sport.
“I love the freedom the ice allows you. When I am on the ice, I can be exactly who I am and express myself in ways that words would never be able to,” said Jordan.
Jordan was coached by Vickie Morris. As he continued to develop and grow in the sport, eight years ago, he decided to make the switch to Kori Ade, who has become an incredibly positive force behind his growth as a skater and as a person.
“Kori is truly an amazing person and I am honored to call her my coach,” Jordan said, “I have been working with her for almost eight years now and I could not imagine sharing my skating journey with anyone else. Kori is very conscientious and caring of her skaters. She knows how to keep things fun, all while pushing us to our limits every day. She is a rarity in this sport and I am so happy to have her by my side through it all.”
Along with Ade, Jordan has worked with Rohene Ward on the choreography of his free skate to the Peer Gynt Suites by Edvard Grieg and Katherine Hill on the choreography of his short program to “Wakare No Kyoku.”
“Rohene, simply put, is a genius,” Jordan enthused, “I am always amazed with the things he comes up with every year. His choreography is so intricate and complex and I am beyond thankful that I have the opportunity to work with him. He makes sure that we keep the integrity of the choreography and performance, even when we may be focusing on the elements. Rohene and Katherine have two very different choreographic styles. I am very excited to be able to have two different programs this year as this allows me to show various sides of my own skating. I think we all make a great team.”
Colorado has long been a center for top-level athlete development due to its increased altitude, and Jordan made the move out west after he graduated high school. Within the training center in Monument, there is a truly special atmosphere and dynamic between the coaches and their skaters. Jordan, Jason, Mariah Bell and others train together and all participate in T.A.P.S. (Total Athlete Performance Seminars) that put an emphasis on the mental side of the sport as well as daily classes with other skaters of all levels to improve on the technical side as well.
“The atmosphere at the rink is best described as this: family,” Jordan told us, “I am blessed to be surrounded by this great group of people. We all spend day after day in the same facility because we all have the same hopes and dreams. We are there for one another during our highs and lows. We push each other to our limits and encourage each other be our best. Most of all, we have fun while doing all of this, something that I believe is hard to find anywhere.”
This will be Jordan’s first season competing at the senior level, and while he has to adjust to the increased physical strength and endurance that it demands, along with the higher level of skating that is necessitated with jumps and spins, he is looking forward to the challenge. He has also been working on improving his quad toe loop to have that in his arsenal, though he recognizes that it is not necessarily imperative for a skater to have to succeed at the highest level.
Along with the physical components of senior level competition, Jordan has also been working during the off-season with Ward and Hill on developing the story and choreography of his programs to raise his component scores.
“Wakare No Kyoku” is actually based from a Chopin piece,” Jordan explained, “I love this program because it is how I would describe my strongest skating style. The storyline Katherine and I came up with involves a young man who moved away from his love. On a fateful day in Venice, however, he finds her again and they pick up right where they left off.”
“[My free skate music] was brought to my attention by a good friend of mine who said he has always wanted someone to skate to it. Sure enough, it was a good pick. The storyline of this program is quite different from the short program. I portray an old, mad king who has been off the throne for a long time now. He has been dealing with his own demons and is not sure how he can go on much longer. As tragic as it may sound, I like to think of it as a last testimony of the mad king. This is the most intricate set of programs I have ever had. It has been quite a process of getting these programs to marinate into their intended product. I am so excited to continue to grow into this season’s programs.”
Last season, Jordan represented the United States at the Junior World Championships where he finished ninth and landed his first triple Axel in competition. He is working to take away the lessons he learned from that experience and apply them to the 2014-2015 season as he moves up to the senior ranks for the first time.
Jordan competed most recently at the Midwestern Sectionals in Chicago where he finished in first place to qualify for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. This will be his first time competing at nationals at the senior level, and he will look to follow in his training mate’s footsteps in the wake of Jason’s silver medal performance in 2014.
“I am very excited about getting to perform at my first senior nationals this January.” Jordan enthused. “It’s an experience I have been looking forward to for a long time and it’s right around the corner. Sectionals was a great experience for me. I’m very happy with the progress I made and I am even more excited to know that there is definitely room to improve, leading up to the U.S. Championships.”
With regards to the long-term future, Jordan’s main goal is to make it to the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018, and after seeing his training mate and coach go to the Sochi Olympics, that proved to motivate him even more.
“Pyeongchang has been my goal for a long time now,” Jordan stated, “Hearing all of the stories from Jason and Kori only made me want it even more. I believe that it is possible with a lot of discipline and hard work. I need to keep building my reliability and keep gaining experience. We will see what the next four years has in store!”
One constant throughout Jordan’s skating career has been his involvement with charity work. He has hosted three “One Skate at a Time” shows benefiting the “One Step at a Time” organization and has raised over $20,000.
“One Skate at a Time originated with the help of my Honors Algebra 1 teacher from freshman year,” Jordan explained, “She has a niece that has battled with cancer throughout her life and has attended a camp called One Step at a Time that allows children who are living with cancer to experience a typical summer camp while having the medical treatments that may be necessary on hand. This is a truly amazing cause and it was the perfect opportunity for me to help give back to my community while doing what I love.”
In addition to his involvement with charity, Jordan has been spending his time off the ice working on his college degree through online classes with Moraine Valley Community College. Though he has not declared a major, he is very interested in pursuing psychology and kinesiology.
The letter “J” and the top U.S. men figure skaters seem to go hand-in-hand with the likes of Johnny Weir, Jeremy Abbott, Jason Brown and Josh Farris. Jordan Moeller is working to add his name to that list, and with a solid coaching staff and training mates who push him to the best of his abilities, it is not difficult to imagine that his senior debut season will be a wonderful success.