Since his early days in elementary school and even before that, Frankie Del Duca showed amazing athletic abilities. At Telstar Regional High School in 2009, he set school records in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter dashes, as well as the long jump and triple jump, that have yet to be broken.
In college, at the University of Maine in Orono, Frankie continued his track star streak, but upon graduation turned his focus to a bigger pond with bigger fish: the Olympics.
Name: Frankie Del Duca
Occupation: Team USA bobsled push athlete; online personal trainer/sport performance coach
Tell us a little bit about your journey from local track athlete to being an Olympic hopeful bobsled athlete. I played many different sports growing up, and could never seem to pick a favorite. Throughout middle and high school, I played soccer, alpine skied and ran track for my school while playing town baseball over the summer. In college, I sprinted and long jumped at the University of Maine in Orono. After college, I played AAA football briefly before trying out for bobsled. I think the broad sport background helped me learn the new skills associated with bobsled, while the speed and power training for track and field improved my physical abilities that bobsled also requires. I also love working on things, and learning about how things work. We do a lot of work on the sleds themselves, and I enjoy that side of the sport as well.
What steps do you take to ensure you maintain peak physical shape? What does your workout/nutritional regiment consist of? When I went to a combine in July of 2015 and started the tryout process, I was sleeping on the floor of my friends’ house on an old futon mattress and couldn’t afford to eat right. When I was given the opportunity to live and train at the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center, I moved there immediately. That’s what really made a difference for me. The food, the sports medicine staff for treatment, and training facilities. I work out six days a week, with three sessions being sprinting based and three being lifting based. I spend more time doing rehabilitation or similar, than actually working out. Mobility, ice bathing, treatment, etc. It’s a 24/7/365 commitment.
You’re also the ambassador for NOW Foods. What is that like? I’m so grateful to work with them. I took some of their supplements in college, specifically their multivitamin and whey protein. Being a drug-tested athlete . . . I reached out to a few companies asking about their ingredient testing procedures, and if they could guarantee their supplements were not contaminated with banned substances before I ordered from them. One company never got back to me, the other gave me a wishy-washy cop-out, and NOW Foods stood by their product 100 percent. The associate emailed me back saying they do 16,000 tests per month, testing the supplements before, during and after they are manufactured. What they say is in the supplement is actually in the supplement, in those exact quantities, and nothing else. It’s a pleasure to work with them, and I get to use effective, trustworthy supplements to help me reach my goals. I take their multivitamin and omega-3s in the morning with breakfast, their preworkout and BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) for training, and whey protein after training.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I don’t have much of it these days, but I do enjoy writing personal-training and athlete-specific programs for people. I continue to learn new things in the exercise science field, and maintain my certification. I’ve had to put a lot of my hobbies on hold until after bobsled — mostly because they usually involve catching air, going fast, motors and a relatively high risk of injury, haha.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I plan to switch to driving (bobsled) after this season, whether I make the Olympic team or not. I did a driving school after my rookie season, and I smiled ear to ear my entire first run from a lower start. It’s an incredible feeling, and I hope I can contribute to Team USA in the front seat for years to come.