Jan 27, 2022 - Sports

Chicago locals go for Olympic gold

guy with an american flag behind him

Jason Brown of Team USA grew up in Highland Park. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Team USA

The Chicago area will be well represented in Beijing when the 2022 Winter Olympics begin next week.

  • There are 13 locals competing who represent several Chicago suburbs, including Buffalo Grove, Palos Heights, Evergreen Park and Barrington.
  • None of the athletes are from the city, though.

🏒 Women's hockey: The defending gold medal-winners will include six (SIX!) players from the area, including:

  • Kendall Coyne Schofield (Palos Heights). Currently a player development coach for the Blackhawks, she's captain of the Olympic team.
  • Hilary Knight (Lake Forest) is playing in her fourth Olympic Games and was named an alternate captain.
  • Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove) returns after winning gold in 2018.

🥅 The men's hockey team will not include any Blackhawks, per the NHL prohibiting its players from participating due to COVID-19.

⛸ Figure skating (singles): Jason Brown (Highland Park) will participate in Men's Single Skating after winning bronze in the 2014 Olympics at 19 years old. He didn't make the team in 2018.

⛸⛸ Figure skating (pairs): Alexa Knierim (Addison) will participate in pair skating.

  • Knierim won bronze in 2018 with her husband Chris and is the first U.S. pair skater to make two Olympic teams in the past 20 years.
  • She will now compete with new partner Brandon Frazier, even though they did not participate in the 2022 U.S. Nationals due to Frazier getting COVID.

💨 Speed skating: The U.S. Speed Skating team has high expectations in Beijing. They could take home their most medals in two decades.

  • Emery Lehman (Oak Park) will compete in his third Olympics.
  • Ethan Cepuran (Glen Ellyn) is an avid Cubs fan.
  • Austin Kleba (Campton Hills) began skating at the age of three.

ğŸŽ¿ Ski jumping: The Chicago area produced three Olympic ski jumpers. Kevin Bickner, Patrick Gasienica and Casey Larson are all from the famed Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove.

  • The club has been "promoting the sport of ski jumping" since 1905 and hosts its annual winter tournament this weekend.

What's next: The Olympic Games begin next Friday, February 4.

2022 U.S. Winter Olympians' hometowns, Illinois
Data: TeamUSA; Map: Axios Visuals

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