Athlete has 'breakthrough' moment at Sochi

Credit: Johnny Quinn

McKinney athlete Johnny Quinn shared this photo via Twitter after he said he was locked inside a bathroom at the Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia and was forced to break the door to get out.

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Staff and wire reports

Posted on February 9, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Updated Sunday, Feb 9 at 10:20 AM

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Locked in a bathroom inside the athlete's village, U.S. Olympic bobsledder Johnny Quinn of McKinney knew only one way to get out.

Through the door.

Literally.

Quinn said on his Twitter account that he was taking a shower and the "door got locked/jammed."

"And before he realized it, he was locked in," his father, John Quinn, told News 8. "He could not open the door."

A University of North Texas football star who went on to play in the NFL for Green Bay and Buffalo, Johnny Quinn did some serious damage while tearing apart the door, which didn't stand a chance against the brawny, 6-foot-2, 220-pounder.

Quinn posted a photo of a gaping hole in the former door, saying "With no phone to call for help, I used my bobsled push training to break out. #SochiJailBreak.

The photo was re-tweeted more than 20,000 times.

Quinn's parents were awakened by a barrage of text messages in San Antonio, where they were visiting the Olympian's baby nephew, Whitt.

"It was just everywhere! It was on the news and tweeted," said Terri Quinn, Johnny's mom. "As soon as I saw it I immediately called Johnny in Russia."

A U.S. team spokeswoman could not say whether Quinn will have to pay for the door.

"Two hundred and seventeen pounds, solid muscle, a bobsledder, push athlete ... Johnny Quinn can open a door," his dad boasted.

"Well, it was an unfortunate situation, but I got out safely," Quinn told NBC's "Today."

Quinn said the Russians have done a great job with constructing venues, though he's probably happy that the door wasn't a touch more sturdy. If nothing else, he got to put his sled-pushing abilities into a real-life situation. "Bobsled athletes are a little bit bigger individuals," Quinn said, "so I had to make sure the hole was big enough to get out."

Quinn, who played collegiately at North Texas, didn't try bobsled until 2010, one year after a knee injury ended his football career while playing in the Canadian Football League for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

When Quinn gives up bobsled, he may have a future as an interior decorator — or a wrecking ball.

WFAA reporters Jobin Panicker and Carla Wade in Dallas and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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