Good Sports: Frank Dalena, Fresno state Bulldog-turned skeleton athlete

The next Winter Olympic games will take place in 2022 in Beijing.

A former Fresno State football player is working towards becoming a skeleton athlete for Team USA.

Bulldog fans may know Frank Dalena as a former wide receiver for the Fresno State football team.

During his senior year, he took a class called the history of the Olympic Games.

He said football players often become bobsled athletes.

As Frank was figuring out what to do after his football career, he decided this was a new sport he wanted to pursue. The San Joaquin Memorial grad went to a tryout in Park City, Utah.

"I just had this idea that there's something that I might be good at, it's totally different than anything I've ever done. I got to take a tour of the facilities, you get to hold the Olympic torch from 2002," he says.

Being a former D-1 athlete, he drew the attention of coaches who told him that he should pursue competing for Team USA and move to Park City.

"My second day skeletoning, it started snowing. This is the first time I've ever seen it snow not in a football game, these guys are looking at me like where are you from. I've kind of just been embracing it that's part of the Valley we don't get any snow here," he says,

Dalena got nicknamed the 'Ice Cowboy'.

The former Bulldog said his speed is about 78 miles per hour right now. That speed combined with walls of cement or rock hard ice can be dangerous.

Dalena says an Olympic-caliber sled can run up to $15,000. He has a GoFundMe page where people can donate to help him pursue his career as a skeleton athlete.

"I'm a Valley kid and very patriotic. It would be unbelievable, I'd love to put USA on the map but also Fresno on the map," he says.

The National trials were canceled this year due to the coronavirus but Frank is looking forward to competing in October when the new season starts.
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