Maine’s Frank Del Duca Shines with a Top 15 Performance on the Olympic Bobsled Ice
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Bethel native and former University of Maine track athlete Frank Del Duca is competing at his very first Winter Olympics. Del Duca is a pilot for Team USA's bobsled team. He is competing in both the 2-man and the four-man discipline.
The 2-man competition has just ended, and Del Duca should be very proud of his accomplishments. After four runs down the treacherous ice track at the Yanqing National Sliding Center, Del Duca finished a very respectable 13th out of 30 sleds. He was the leading American at the finish, and second among North Americans.
Del Duca, who was a standout track athlete at the University of Maine (along with Olympian and bobsledder Jimmy Reed), began his bobsled career as a push athlete. He then transitioned to bobsled driver four years ago.
An outsider to even make the Olympic team, Del Duca would end up having a tremendous campaign in the North American Cup, one of the development tours for the World Cup. These results, plus his performances in the World Cup sealed his spot on the Olympic team.
And it certainly has paid off for the young American. His 13th place is Del Duca's best finish as a driver, in a 2-man event at a championship level. Just a great start to Del Duca's maiden Olympic Games.
Del Duca isn't done yet. He will be right back on the ice for 4-man training runs, before the competition begins on Friday, Feb 18th. His best finish at a championship or world cup level is 11th. That was earlier this year on the World Cup.
Can Del Duca compete for a top-10? His recent form would tell you yes. However, there are no guarantees on the difficult Chinese track.