Alexey Sobolev Puts Phone Number on His Helmet, Gets Thousands of Texts

02/09/2014 at 10:30 AM EST

Alexey Sobolev
Alexey Sobolev
Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA/Landov

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Russian snowboarder Alexey Sobolev came up with a way to meet new people while he's competing at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia – he put his cellphone number on his helmet.

The 22-year-old says it was his way of trying to relieve the monotony of hanging around, waiting to compete.

"It's really boring in the Olympic Village, you know?" he told USA Today.

His idea worked. After wearing the number on his helmet while competing in the slopestyle qualifier on Thursday he received more than 2,000 text messages – and dozens of naked pictures – within hours.

"Most of the messages are good luck messages and messages from the girls," he said. "Some of the messages are not appropriate to read aloud."

At one point his iPhone stopped working because of the number of messages coming through, but he got it restarted, and showed off some of the risqué pictures to a Yahoo Sports reporter.

Sobolev had to cover the number when he competed for a spot in the final on Saturday morning. But since he didn't make the cut, he has more time to respond to his messages, particularly from some of the ladies who sent him pictures.

"I'm definitely going to call them," he said.

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