This Is Carolina: Olympic bobsledder with ties to the Grand Strand shares special bond with uncle
HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - One of the Olympic athletes competing for Team USA in Beijing has ties to the Grand Strand.
Bobsledder Frankie Del Duca lived in Horry County briefly as a kid and attended Saint James Elementary School. He still visits pretty much every year.
His uncle, John Del Duca, still lives in Horry County and has since the 1980s when he played baseball for Coastal Carolina University.
John owns All-American storage on Forestbrook Road.
The sign in front of the business reads, “Good luck USA bobsled team” on one side and “Go team Del Duca USA 2022 bobsled winter Olympics” on the other side.
John is one of Frankie’s biggest fans. He has passionately supported Frankie from the start of his bobsled career.
“I don’t know if I’d know anything about bobsledding if it hadn’t been for him, but once he jumped in, I jumped in,” John said.
Frankie was always interested in sports, but he kind of stumbled into bobsledding after talking with a track coach of his at the University of Maine.
“When he said you can go to a combine, and they hold a combine much like the NFL, I was like, ‘Sweet, yeah, that’s great. I’ll give it a shot and just see where it goes,’” Frankie said.
That casual interest eventually turned into a dream to make the Olympics.
Now, that dream has become a reality.
Through it all, Frankie said his Uncle John has been one of his biggest fans.
“I’m surprised all of Myrtle Beach hasn’t heard because he’s been pretty psyched about it for a while now,” Frankie said of his uncle.
John said he is happy his nephew is living his dream.
“Very, very proud. There’s no words for it. I’m kind of like in awe,” John said.
Team USA’s men’s bobsled team isn’t expected to win any medals, but Frankie and John know anything can happen.
“We’re not medal favorites, but we’re not sitting here trying any less hard,” Frankie said. “We’re preparing every day to win.”
“We would love to see a top 10, top five. And the gold is – right now, everybody’s got a shot at it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t play it,” John said.
Frankie will be racing in the two-man bobsled heats on the morning of February 14 and 15. He’ll be racing in the four-man bobsled heats on the evening of February 19 and 20.
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