The only thing that prevented U.S. figure skater Jason Brown from adding another viral YouTube video to his resume on Thursday was the litigiousness of NBC and the IOC. If not for their strict policies regarding video highlights from the Sochi Olympics then the 19-year-old skater's routine from the men's short program set to Prince's "The Question Of U" would have started racking up views around the Internet faster than it would take a fan of The Purple One to remember his favorite color.
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With the mood at the Iceberg Skating Palace unexpectedly somber following the last-minute withdrawal of Russian skating legend Evgeni Plushenko, Brown did what he could to brighten the mood. The teenager from Highland Park, Ill., delivered a characteristically charismatic performance that helped raise spirits in Sochi and would likely have pleased anyone watching at Prince's Paisley Park studio near Minneapolis.
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Those who have watched -- and then watched again -- Brown's classic "Riverdance" free skate routine at the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston in January would surely have recognized the infectious smile and crowd-pleasing flourishes that made him a viral sensation before arriving in Sochi.
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While it was his "Riverdance" free program at the Nationals that garnered most of the attention, Brown also treated the crowd in Boston to the "The Question Of U" routine in the short program.
WATCH: Jason Brown Skates To Prince's "The Question Of U"
The judges in Sochi awarded Brown a 86.00 score for his Prince-tracked short program that included a triple Axel, triple-triple combination and a triple Lutz, good enough for sixth place. Firmly in medal contention, Brown will enter the long program less than a point behind Javier Fernandez of Spain, currently in third place. With Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu notching a historic 101.45 to vault himself into first place and projected gold medalist Patrick Chan of Canada not far behind in second place with a 97.52, it would seem that Brown's best shot at a medal is bronze ahead of the long program on Friday.
“I am so excited,” Brown said, via TeamUSA.org. “I did a personal best and it's been like that all season. I went out there and I wanted to skate the way.”
As a young skater making his Olympic debut, Brown seemed to be appropriately experiencing the situation.
Had a blast in the individual men's short program event tonight! Can't believe I'll be skating last in… http://t.co/CAajCnyPRo
— Jason Brown (@jasonbskates) February 13, 2014