BEIJING -- After delivering a solid performance at his second Olympics to beat his showing from eight years ago, U.S. figure skater Jason Brown said he's accomplished all his goals but hasn't decided yet if it's time to retire.
"I don't have an answer to what is next, so that's a little bit of a first for me," Brown said. "I had three goals when I moved to Toronto, and I was fortunate enough to have checked them all off. So I think for me, you know, it's about kind of figuring out if I want to set more [goals] and if I want to continue to push myself physically, mentally, emotionally."
At the men's singles free skate competition on Thursday at Capital Indoor Stadium, the 27-year-old Chicago native had planned to do a quad salchow but decided to downgrade to a triple in favor of skating a clean program. It was nonetheless a strong performance with few blemishes.
"It was just about making what made the most sense in the moment," Brown said. "Obviously, your heart wants to do something one way, but when you kind of look at things objectively, I think that's what we kind of did it that last minute."
Brown came in sixth place with a program set to music by John Williams. He came in ninth at the 2014 Sochi Games, and missed the 2018 Olympics.
In Beijing, Brown landed far behind fellow American Nathan Chen, who took gold with a nearly perfect program. Japanese skaters took the next three spots, with silver for Yuma Kagiyama and bronze for Shoma Uno. Japan's fan-favorite and two-time gold medalist Yuzaru Hanyu came in a disappointing fourth, hampered by a poor short program Tuesday.
In 2014, Brown was part of the bronze-winning U.S. group in the team competition but was disappointed with his individual event. When Brown didn't make the Pyeongchang team, he wanted to retire but stuck it out for another cycle.
By the time Beijing came around, Brown was considered a controversial pick for the last men's spot on the U.S. team. Some saw it as a reward for Brown's years of service and popularity, at the expense of the promising 17-year-old Ilia Malinin, who was the runner-up to Chen for this year's national title.
"That's definitely up to the critics who are making those comments to decide if I justified my spot," Brown said. "I think I'm always after trying to be the best version of myself that I can be."