US skater Jason Brown on natural Olympic high

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 7, 2014 at 6:05 pm •  Published: February 7, 2014
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Jason Brown can't stand still when he's not on the ice, which mirrors how he is while skating.

And being at the Sochi Olympics only enhances his off-the-charts enthusiasm.

"Nothing makes you more proud and honored than to be part of a U.S. team, and to skate alongside your other teammates," the 19-year-old Brown said Friday as he prepared for the team free skate at the Sochi Olympics. "Growing up in the figure skating world, my big goal was just to be competing for Team USA. You know, watching Olympic montages and how Americans have so much team spirit."

It's difficult to imagine anyone having more spirit of any kind than the lively Brown. He's become a YouTube sensation with more than 3.5 million hits for his free skate at nationals to "Reel Around the Sun" from "Riverdance." That was his breakthrough performance of a breaking-out season in which he surged from the middle of the U.S. pack to runner-up behind Jeremy Abbott for the American championship.

He will replace Abbott in the team competition on Sunday after the four-time U.S. champ struggled in the short program and finished seventh.

Unless he somehow sneaks off with a medal in Sochi, Brown can't possibly match the attention his long program in Boston drew from around the world.

"That hasn't quite hit me yet," Brown said. "It definitely doesn't register that is the case and that many people have seen it. It's a huge honor to have the number of people who have reached out to me — and many who were not figure skating fans."

That includes the Texas A&M diving team; several members ran into him and immediately recognized Brown from the video.

It also includes the cast of "Riverdance."

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