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A Local Flavor to Vancouver Olympics

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 15, 2010 5:00PM

The Winter Olympics kicked off on Friday night with Opening Ceremonies a prelude to two weeks of sporting events on ice and snow. Given our own chilly climate, it's no surprise that a number of local athletes will be representing Illinois as well as the United States. And given the flat lands of the Midwest, it's also no surprise that nearly every single one of them will be donning skates during their competitions -- the local delegation includes seven hockey players, six speed skaters, three figure skaters/ice dancers, and a bobsledder.

Perhaps the biggest local name is Shani Davis, who became the first black athlete to win an individual Winter Olympic gold medal in Turino in 2006; he took top honors in the 1000m while winning a silver in the 1500m.

With NHL stars taking to the ice for the Men's Ice Hockey competition, a half dozen members of the Blackhawks will be in Vancouver to represent their homelands. Patrick Kane will don the red, white and blue for Team USA, while Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith will represent host Canada and Tomas Kopecky and Marian Hossa will team up for Slovakia. When the NHL season resumes in two weeks, will any 'Hawks hold international bragging rights over their teammates?

Other Local Olympians:

  • Ben Agosto - Ice Dancing: Silver Medalist from the 2006 Turino games was born in Chicago and raised in Northbrook
  • Rockne Brubaker - Figure Skating: From Algonquin
  • Lisa Chesson - Women's Ice Hockey: Raised in Planfield where she played hockey for Plainfield Central High School
  • Lana Gehring - Speed Skating: Born in Chicago and raised in Glenview
  • Brian Hansen - Speed Skating: Born in Evanston, he was raised and lives in Glenview
  • Jonathan Kuck - Speed Skating: Raised in Champaign, currently attends U. of Illinois.
  • Evan Lysacek - Figure Skating: Born in Chicago and raised in Naperville
  • Jamie Moriarty - Bobsled: From Winnetka
  • Nancy Swider-Peltz, Jr. - Speed Skating: Born in Maywood, lives in Wheaton
  • Katherine Reutter - Speed Skating: Born and raised in Champaign