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About Aren Nielsen PDF Print E-mail

I began skating at the age of 8 in my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri.  My first competition was the Heart of America competition when I was 10 years old. 

My first coach was Randy Brilliantine, whom I worked with for 13 years.  He is a PSA Master Rated coach who trained in Singles, Pairs, and Dance under Ron Ludington.  Ron who resides in Wilmington, Deleware and has trained many Olympic skaters.  Randy was my coach from the very beginning all the way through my first few years as a Senior competitor.  In this time, we had been successful in acheiving a Silver Medal in both the Novice and Junior level at the U.S. National Championships, as well as two Gold Medals in International Competitions (France and Yugoslavia) as a member of the USA International Team.  

After 13 years of working with Randy, I made a my first coaching switch.  In 1991, I relocated to Cleveland, Ohio to train with former Olympic Gold Medalist Carol Heiss-Jenkins and Glyn Watts.  I worked with Carol and Glyn for a total of four competitive seasons.  In this time, we achieved two Bronze medals at the U.S. National Championships in the Senior level and became a member of the 1994 U.S. World Team.  I missed the Olympic Team by one place... for the first time since 1972, the United States was only allowed to send two skaters to the Olympics because we did not have a male singles skater in the top 3 at the World Championships the previous year. 

My final two years as a competitive skater were spent at the Atlanta IceForum training with Don Laws.  He was the coach of Olympic Champion, Scott Hamilton. 

After 19 years of competing, training and participating in numerous ice shows, I retired from skating.  I was very fortunate to have my family, sponsors, and amazing coaches to support, guide and inspire me throughout the years.  I absolutely could not have done it without all of them.  Looking back... it was a fantastic journey.  There were many disappointments, but enough highlights along the way to make it all worth while and keep me striving for more the next time.  I am now thankful for those experiences because it gives me the ability to pass this knowledge, experience, and skill to the skaters of the next generation.  I am hoping they too will look back at their time spent with me on the ice with a sense of accomplishment and joy.

Fun Facts:

  • I graduated High School as a full time student and did not do any home schooling.
  • I did not receive any sponsorship until I had my first National Medal.
  • I spent 3 years in the Novice Level
  • I spent 3 years in the Junior Level
  • I competed for 9 years in the Senior Level
  • I competed in 12 U.S. National Championships and received a medal in 5 of them.
  • The first time I made it through Regionals... I got last place at Sectionals.
  • In 1984, my custom Klingbeil's with Gold Seal blades only cost my parents $400.
  • In 1993, Brian Boitano selected my music and choreographed my Long Program.
  • One of my most memorable moments ever... I walked by Dorothy Hamill at a competition and she said "Hi Aren".  (We had not yet been introduced!!!)
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 January 2010 )