Here Are The Olympics Odds For Maine’s Medal Hunters In Beijing

Written By J.R. Duren on February 16, 2022
Sports betting odds for Maine's athletes at the 2022 Winter Olympics

Five Maine athletes made it to the Olympics this year, all with hopes of bringing home the gold to the Pine Tree State.

Maine’s Olympic contingent included a pair of University of Maine graduates, two bobsledders, three women, and two men. While Maine’s competitors have yet to win a medal in the 2022 Winter Olympics, there’s still hope.

DraftKings Sportsbook had odds for two of Maine’s athletes. However, sports betting in Maine is illegal at this time.

Biathlon: Clare Egan

Cape Elizabeth native Clare Egan represented the US in the biathlon, the grueling competition in which athletes combine cross-country skiing and shooting. She was the Maine state champion in Nordic skiing.

Heading into the Olympics, Egan was part of six teams that competed at the world championships and took third in the 2019 mass-start World Cup in Oslo.

Egan had a rough go of it in the women’s sprint final where she finished 46th. However, she had another chance at a medal on Sunday when she competed in the women’s 10K pursuit final.

DraftKings had Egan as a longshot to win a gold medal at +30000. Unfortunately, she couldn’t overcome those odds–she finished 38th.

Egan’s best performances came in a pair of 4×6 km relay events in which the US team finished 11th and 7th.

In an interview with Down East last year, Egan said her brief stint as a waitress at Old Port’s Flatbread Company taught her principles that she took with her on her Olympic journey.

“I learned so many life lessons there that still help me every day. I learned to show up on time, work hard, be a good teammate, and work with people from all different backgrounds to get the job done. And that’s so similar to what I do now.”

Cross-country skiing: Sophia Laukli

Yarmouth native Sophia Laukli headed into Beijing competing in her first Olympics. The 22-year-old finished 11th in the 10K freestyle at the US Championships.

She won a silver in the team relay 2020 Junior World Championships.

Laukli told the Portland Press Herald this past January that there’s no guarantee which event she’ll compete in, but she thinks that she’ll go in the 30K freestyle mass-start, which takes place on Feb. 20, the last day of the Winter Olympics. There currently are no odds on DraftKings for Laukli.

Retired Yarmouth High Nordic skiing coach Bob Morse told the Press Herald that he’s ecstatic about Egan and Laukli making the US team, saying:

“It’s quite a tribute to the whole Maine Nordic program to have Clare and Sophia race in the Olympics. I have a big smile on my face.”

Bobsled: Frank Del Duca and James Reed

Frank Del Duca was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but attended the University of Maine and considers Bethel his hometown. Del Duca will compete in the two-man and four-man bobsled events.

At the outset of the Olympics, teammate Hunter Church seemed to be the US’s best driver. He piloted the American four-man team to a bronze in a January World Cup competition in Winterberg, Germany.

However, Del Duca got the best of Church in the two-man event. Del Duca finished 13th out of 20 finalists, while Church’s team did not qualify for the finals.

However, Del Duca has driven his two-man into 15th place, while Church is sitting in 24th. Four-man training heats began this week. Church and Del Duca are sitting at 12th and 13th, respectively. The four-man finals take place Feb. 19-20. 

Perhaps what’s most stunning about Del Duca’s finishes so far is that he debuted as a pilot last month on the World Cup circuit.

James Reed is a push athlete and University of Maine graduate. His career has been more prolific than Del Duca–he won four World Cup Medals with late US legend Steven Holcomb.

He will push for one of the two US four-man teams.

Before the games, FanDuel had Hunter Church as a long shot to win a gold medal (+5000) in the four-man event and Del Duca didn’t get a line.

Luge: Emily Sweeney

Portland native Emily Sweeney’s trip to the 2022 Winter Olympics is a miraculous one. She broke her neck and back after a brutal crash in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

However, she battled back to win a bronze medal at the 2019 World Championship and picked up a pair of silvers in 2020 in World Cup races.

Despite her recent success, however, Sweeney did not finish in the top 20 after three runs in Beijing and, consequently, did not make the finals. A crash near the end of her second run doomed solid performances in her first (10th place) and third (12th place) runs.

Photo by Ashley Landis / Associated Press
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