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SOCHI SCENE: YouTube star

8 February 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — U.S. skater Jason Brown says it is "surreal" to be a YouTube star. Video of his skate at the U.S. championships in January that earned him a spot at the Sochi Olympics has 3,603,509 hits ... and counting. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzlcVKFVWVI)

Turned on to his YouTube stardom by Dylan, his 15-year-old brother who is "obsessed" by the numbers, Brown said he, too, has now fallen into the habit of keeping track of his hits.

At first, "I literally didn't believe him. I was just like, 'Ha, ha, ha. OK,'" said Brown, of Highland Park, Ill. "And then, five hours later, my friend texted me and they're like, 'You're trending on Twitter. You're on BuzzFeed. Now you have 500,000 views.' And I was like, 'Noooo! No, no.' And then I went on that night and it was 800,000 views and the next morning I woke up and it's 1 million."

"It was definitely exciting to see it grow and, you know, it definitely is something that is so surreal and means so much to me that people got invested in watching."

— John Leicester — Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnleicester

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Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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