Frankie Del Duca, a Bethel, Maine native, and James Reed, who was born in Germany, were both star sprinters at the University of Maine. Now, they are both on Team USA: Reed was an alternate in 2018, but did not compete, while Del Duca is appearing in his first Olympics.
Friday night, both of Team USA's four-man sleds, one piloted by Hunter Church, the other by Del Duca, came in 13th and 14th place, respectively after the first two heats.
“These guys do a great job on and off the ice,” Del Duca said about his crew in a post-race interview with media in Beijing. “I have a ton of respect for them. I’ve been in many different races with them over the years as a push athlete and now as a driver. It’s pretty cool to come together on the biggest stage and just put together the best results we can. I know we’re digging deep to do the best we can, and it’s a great feeling to be with them.”
Saturday night, both four-man squads will try to finish in the top 20 in the third heat to advance to final heat with a shot at winning a medal. The final standings for all events will be determined by the total time over all of the runs. The sled with the lowest aggregate time is the winner. If two teams are tied at the end of the competition, they will be awarded the same place.
“I have the same game plan every time I get on the start line,” Del Duca said. “ I give everything I have because I don’t know how to do it any other way. When I have these guys, these teammates, I know they believe in me and we believe in each other, and it’s just nothing left to do but to show up and do it.”