SOCHI, Russia – American bobsledder Johnny Quinn said he had to smash through his bathroom door in the Athletes' Village because his teammates thought his attempts for help were merely construction noise.
Quinn recounted the hilarious truth behind the incident that turned him into an Internet sensation when Yahoo Sports caught up with him outside the Winter Olympics' Main Press Center on Sunday, just 24 hours after he left the door in ruins.
Quinn posted a picture of what was left of the door on Twitter. The tweet picked up 23,000 retweets and Quinn gained 11,000 new followers in a single day.
"I was taking a shower. Didn't have my phone. No towel," Quinn said. "I go to move the handle and I can't get out. I checked the lock to see if I had accidentally locked it. Nothing.
"I pry the top, pry the bottom and see if I can wiggle it loose. I'm getting frustrated waiting it out, hoping someone will come back in the room.
"I start banging on random parts of the bathroom. I get to the door and I hit it … and it cracks. So I go even harder and I hit it again, and my fist goes through. I see the daylight from the room come in, so I thought, 'Time [for] me to get out of here.'"
Quinn's roommate Justin Olsen was in the weight room, but his other four-man bobsled colleagues Nick Cunningham and Dallas Robinson were nearby in their adjoining rooms in the apartment-style village accommodations. However, they failed to realize Quinn's plight and couldn't spare his embarrassment.
"I was banging, trying to get their attention, yelling their names and hitting the wall and nothing," Quinn said. "I come to find out they thought it was construction on the roof."
Quinn, a former NFL wide receiver with the Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers, is aiming to win gold after taking up bobsled following a stint in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He admitted to being bemused by the extraordinary level of attention he received on social media.
"It has been unbelievable," Quinn said. "I thought I might get a few funny comments but nothing like this."
Since The Shower That Went Wrong, Quinn has received visits from a trio of Russian repairmen who had to rip out the remnants of the door and install a new one. A U.S. Olympic Committee representative wanted an explanation and thankfully saw the funny side of it, and a television crew sought details of the story.
With his competition not due to start until Feb. 22, Quinn has plenty of time to enjoy his newfound fame.
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