Three athletes with ties to Maine who recently competed in the Beijing Olympics share their journeys to the Winter Games and experiences as members of Team USA in a virtual panel discussion moderated by Press Herald sports reporter Glenn Jordan. The featured guests are biathlete Clare Egan, who grew up in Cape Elizabeth; cross-country skier Sophia Laukli, a Yarmouth High School graduate; and bobsledder Frankie Del Duca, a graduate of Telstar High in Bethel and the University of Maine.

About our guests

Clare Egan, Biathlete

Clare started skiing in middle school for Cape Nordic and was a Maine high school state champion and two-time member of the New England Junior National team. As an undergraduate student at Wellesley College, she ran cross-country and track and started the Wellesley Ski Team. After graduating in 2010, Clare spent a year at the University of New Hampshire, where she competed in Division I cross-country, track, and Nordic skiing while pursuing a master’s degree in linguistics. She joined the Craftsbury Green Racing Project cross-country ski team in June of 2011 and competed in her first biathlon race in 2013. In January of 2015 she made her biathlon World Cup debut and since then she has represented the US Biathlon Team at six World Championships as well as the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. In March of 2019, Clare reached the World Cup podium for the first time, taking bronze in the mass start at the Word Cup final in Oslo, Norway.

Clare speaks five languages and was elected in 2018 to Chair the International Biathlon Union Athletes’ Committee until 2022.

Sophia Laukli, cross-country skier

Sophia is fluent in Norwegian, and French. Off the snow, Sophia enjoys surfing, traveling and cooking. In addition to being a member of the silver-medal-winning relay team at the 2020 World Championships, she finished fifth in 15k freestyle. She was second at the 2020 NCAA Championships in the 5k freestyle and made her World Cup debut in Lahti, Finland in the 15k skiathlon on Jan. 23, 2021.

Frankie Del Duca, bobsledder

Frank Del Duca is a Team USA Bobsled athlete who made his debut at the 2022 Winter Games. He attended the University of Maine, from where he graduated with a bachelor’s of science in Kinesiology and Physical Education in 2014.

He was once a track and field athlete but left it due to an injury. After that, he tried out for a AAA football team of the Southern Maine Raging Bulls. He made the team as a kicker, punter, and wide receiver. Later, Duca was invited to attend a rookie camp and compete in a Preliminary Push Championship. Also, he was offered room and board at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Shortly after, Olympic Gold Medalist Steven Holcomb asked him to push for him, and he was named to the U.S. Bobsled National Team.

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