Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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Johnny Quinn's Hometown Cheers Him On

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    The night before a McKinney-based Olympian competes in the last day of the 2014 Winter Games, his hometown is rallying around Johnny Quinn. (Published Saturday, Feb 22, 2014)

    The night before Johnny Quinn competes in the last day of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, his hometown of McKinney is rallying around him.

    Quinn, a member of the U.S. four-man bobsled team, became famous overnight once the games began -- partly because of social media.

    Football Star from Texas Sliding Towards Sochi

    [NATL-DFW] Texan Johnny Quinn Sliding His Way Towards Sochi
    No ice, no problem, for Texan Johnny Quinn who has his sights set on the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Quinn competes in bobsled and trains in McKinney at the Michael Johnson Performance Center. (Published Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013)

    Quinn tweeted about having to kick through a bathroom door, after finding himself locked inside. That same week, the former University of North Texas standout football player  also tweeted when he and other bobsled teammates found themselves stuck in an elevator.

    His posts generated a new hashtag and #Quinning began trending on Twitter.

    In McKinney, those who know Quinn say they’re not surprised he landed on the international stage.

    "I think there's just a real sense of pride," said Shawn Pratt, current McKinney Independent School District athletic director and one of Quinn’s former high school coaches. "All of McKinney is rooting for Johnny."

    Pratt says even as a teenager, Quinn was disciplined and motivated.

    "Johnny was very talented, but Johnny made the most of any talent he had," Pratt said."I don't remember any day that we had a practice when he didn’t go over after, by himself, for at least half an hour and just work."

    That work eventually led Quinn to a brief stint in the NFL and later to  the Canadian Football League.

    After an injury, he took up bobsledding, and started training at Michael Johnson Performance in his hometown.

    Team USA 2's sled was in 11th place after the first day of competition. Quinn will compete in the final heats of the four-man bobsled Sunday before the closing ceremony in Sochi.