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On and off the ice, Jason Brown can put on a show

Feb 2, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

Jason Brown AP

U.S. men’s figure skater Jason Brown has become quite a popular fellow since his star turn at last month’s U.S. Championships in Boston, where he finished second to fellow Olympian Jeremy Abbott following his “Riverdance” free skate.

That particular routine has made Brown into a YouTube star going into Sochi, but the pride of Highland Park, Illinois was already known as a fan favorite within the world of figure skating thanks in part to his flair for showmanship.

It’s a trait that the 19-year-old Brown has apparently had for some time.

A special feature on Brown from NBCOlympics.com’s Rachel Lutz details how, after reading F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” for one of his high school classes, he promptly transformed himself into legendary silent film star Charlie Chaplin as part of a lesson that involved the students becoming famous 1920s personalities.

Just as he does on the ice, he went all in.

“Jason became Charlie Chaplin, right down to the way he moved,” his teacher, Jennifer Lucchese, told local news outlets. “His attention to detail was incredible. It set him apart from his peers in his willingness to take a risk and throw himself into it.”

Now, Brown is preparing to throw himself into the Olympics for the very first time alongside the 28-year-old veteran Abbott. And after nearly blowing the roof off of the TD Garden, he’ll be looking to be even better in Sochi.

“For not even one second did I think that ["Riverdance"] was the best performance I’ve ever done,” Brown said following the Nationals.

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