Johnny Quinn closes the door on viral Olympic career

Getty Images
0 Comments

If there are any locked doors in PyeongChang, Johnny Quinn won’t be there to bust out of them.

Quinn, the U.S. bobsledder who went viral for breaking through a bathroom in Sochi, will not pursue another Olympic berth. He has retired from the sport.

Quinn, 33, said he made the decision after three-time Olympic medalist Steven Holcomb died in May.

“I really wanted to make another run at the 2018 Winter Olympics, but it just changed in circumstances,” said Quinn, whose last competition was finishing 12th in Nick Cunningham‘s four-man sled in Sochi. “After his passing, it was a re-evaluation. Things didn’t line up anymore as far as making a comeback.”

Quinn said he trained last year in advance of a possible return to the sport. He called a U.S. federation coach in summer 2016 to inform them of his interest in possibly returning for the 2017-18 season.

Quinn called that same coach this summer to say the comeback was off. He said his recent insurance venture, starting his own agency (JohnnyInsures.com), did not impact the decision.

“I’m going to miss being around the guys,” Quinn said. “Any type of team setting and the chemistry that you have between teammates, I’m going to miss that and the rush of the Olympics.”

Quinn capitalized on his Olympic breakout to become a public speaker, telling his story in front of Fidelity Investments, school assemblies and LiftMaster, a suburban Chicago company whose products include garage-door accessories.

“Breaking down the door opened the door to some opportunities,” Quinn said last year. “Had I known it was going to blow up, I would have saved some [pieces of the door], auctioned it off and give it to a charity or something.”

The U.S. Bobsled national team selection races are set for later this month, after which the World Cup team will be named. The Olympic team will be named in January, expected to be mostly or fully made up of athletes who compete in World Cups.

Two of the six push athletes from Sochi are back — Steven Langton and Chris Fogt — plus Justin Olsen, who switched from pushing to driving.

Other top contenders include recent crossover athletes like Quinn, a wide receiver who played four preseason games for the Green Bay Packers in 2008.

Cunningham said two weeks ago that Ryan Bailey, the 2012 Olympic 100m fifth-place finisher, will be in his sled for selection races. Bailey, who made the switch to bobsled last year, is back from a six-month doping ban that ended in July.

Sam McGuffie and Carlo Valdes, former college football players at Michigan/Rice and UCLA, respectively, will push for driver Codie Bascue, Cunningham said.

Langton and Fogt are with Olsen for selection races.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. bobsledders open season thinking of Steven Holcomb