Read on for 12 fun facts about the Olympic skater, and also a particularly epic dance clip.
1. Jason can thank a birthday party for getting him started with skating. Then 3-year-old Jason’s older sister, Jordan, was invited to an ice rink birthday party. Fearing that her daughter would feel left out because she couldn’t skate, Jordan’s and Jason’s mom took her to ice skating class beforehand, and Jason tagged along. “I’ve been skating ever since,” he told Golden Skate (and has been with the same coach, Kori Ade, since he was 5).
2. “Jason was a terror when he was little,” Ade told ESPN. “I mean a crazy monster with so much energy that he didn’t know what to do with it and obviously skating gave him a great outlet.” That energy is still palpable in his skates today.
3. And that energy is also palpable in his dance videos — Jason says “making music and dance videos” is one of his favorite hobbies. “Who doesn’t like dancing?!” he told U.S. Figure Skating, “it’s just a fun way to let go and enjoy yourself.” (His favorite dance move of the moment is… “the cabbage patch.”) In other words, he doesn’t need to be on the ice to make smooth moves happen, like in this clip of him dancing to Ciara’s “1,2 Step”:
4. He won gold at 11-years-old at the 2007 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland.
5. And he went viral for his “Riverdance” performance at the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The performance, which earned him silver and a spot in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, garnered over 4 millions views.
6. That spot on the 2014 Olympic team made him the first teenage male figure skater to represent the U.S. at the Olympics since 1976. Nbd.
7. Jason studies communications at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. In a 2011 interview, he said he wants “to work with kids in the athletic field,” after graduation (and after his professional career ends). “I am thinking about becoming a teacher, a coach, or a sports psychologist.”
8. He speaks Japanese. According to NBC, he learned the language because skating is a super popular sport in Japan, and he wanted the opportunity to interact and practice with his fans there.
9. And he’s an avid piano player. “I’ve always loved taking piano lessons,” Brown told Skate Guard. “I really feel that playing a musical instrument helps with my rhythm and musicality on the ice. When I was younger, playing the piano really taught me a lot about discipline, focus, phrasing, and tempo.”
10. Though his ponytail is pretty iconic these days, having longer hair means Jason does have to deal with bad hair days:
11. He will dance to the Hamilton soundtrack at the Olympics, and Lin-Manuel Miranda himself is preeeeetty excited about it (which makes sense, considering back in 2015, he tweeted that he wanted to be alerted the MOMENT a figure skater does a Hamilton-inspired routine). Jason is a big fan of Hamilton, you see:
12. And he was voted most patriotic at the Team USA Media Summit. “I’m all about Team USA and Team USA spirit, so being able to bring something like that to the Olympic stage is a dream of mine,” he said on TeamUSA.org.
To learn more, visit teamusa.org. The Winter Olympics will air live, starting Feb 8th.