Present and Past Lake County Olympians and Where to Watch the Beijing Games 2022

By: Jonathan Jones 02/01/2022

John Williams' "Olympic Fanfare" is playing on everyone's Spotify right now as the best Lake County Olympians head to Beijing in February.

The Olympic games are packed with Prairie State dwellers. According to the Chicago Tribune, since 1896, Illinois residents have taken home over 250 Olympic gold, silver or bronze medals. The City of Lake Forest leads the pack for our fair county with 18 medal recipients historically.


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Everyone is ready to see some dramatic stories in the Olympics. We've never seen a back-to-back Olympics like this, with Beijing kicking off this week and Tokyo last summer. The Tokyo Olympics were supposed to occur in 2020, but since COVID-19 struck, the summer games moved to - how they phrased - 2020NE Olympic Games.

While you're in town, there are plenty of places, Lake County Libation Trail partners, restaurants and more showing the games. Also, February is Lake County Libation Trail Month/Check In Challenge. Continue scrolling to see where you can watch the Beijing games.


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Guests who “Check-In” at five or more locations between Feb. 1-28 will be eligible for a drawing, where 50 people will win a new Libation Trail Roster Shirt. The long-sleeved 100% cotton shirt lists all the Libation Trail partner locations to visit this year. Once 50 names are drawn after March 1, winners who respond to email notification with their name and mailing address within seven days will be awarded a shirt to wear proudly.

  1. SCAN the QR code, TEXT “CHEERS” to 224.706.1133 or visit
  2. Sign up for the Libation Trail Passport and opt-in for location services and prompts.
  3. CHECK-IN at five or more participating locations between Feb. 1-28 to be entered to WIN.
  4. 50 eligible entrants will win the new Libation Trail Roster Shirt, a sought-after souvenir for adventurous libation connoisseurs.
Here is a rundown of your Lake County Olympians competing in the Beijing games. Cheer on your fellow of Land of Lincolners as they go for the gold and grab a drink and/or grub at one of Lake County's venues to watch Team USA!

Lake Winter Olympians

Megan Bozek


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Hometown: Buffalo Grove Event: Ice Hockey

Fun Facts: The Stevenson High School alum has a rap sheet where she has won at every level. Bozek played for Team Illinois, advancing to the USA Hockey Girls National Championship each season. As a senior in high school, she was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Hockey Under 18 Team in 2009. After graduating, and recording a Patriot Hall of Fame placement, Bozek took her talents to Minneapolis where she was an integral piece of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers NCAA National Championship in 2013. This is Bozek's second trip to Winter Olympics as the defender also nabbed a silver medal during the Sochi Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Bozek is also a six-time medalist (four golds and two silver in the World Championship sector. The returning Olympic medalist also competes at the pro level for the KRS Vanke Rays in the Zhenskaya Hockey League in Eurasia.

Jason Brown


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Hometown: Highland Park Event: Figure Skating

Fun Facts: Brown punched his second trip to the winter Olympics after a stellar international season placing first in the Finlandia Trophy, second in Skate Canada International and third in the Internationaux de France. Brown also placed fourth in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Brown won a bronze medal in the team event in 2014 at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, becoming one of the youngest male figure skating medalists. The Highland Park High School alum trains at the Skokie Valley Skating Club in Skokie and also trained at Centennial Ice Arena in his hometown. Brown just missed registering a bronze finish in Sochi as well.

Hilary Knight


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Hometown: Lake Forest Event: Ice Hockey

Raised in Lake Forest, Knight is one of the most decorated Olympians on this list. Competing in her fourth-straight games, Knight has totaled six goals and 11 assists in 15 Olympic games. Two of the six were during the gold medal game in Pyeongchang that helped the United States capture their second title in team history. Knight also assisted her University of Wisconsin Badgers place second in the NCAA Championships in 2008, and become national champs in 2009. Knight took home two silvers during the Vancouver games in 2010 and the Sochi games in 2014.

Kevin Bickner


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Hometown: Wauconda Event: Ski Jumping

Fun Facts: Born in Lake Forest, the Waucondan dweller tallies his second-consecutive Winter Olympics after qualifying for Pyeongchang in 2018. Bickner finished in 18th place at the PyeongChang games, but it was the best placing by a U.S. man in almost two decades. Bickner however holds the U.S. ski distance record at 244.5 meters. On Christmas Day, Bickner notched took first overall at the U.S. Olympic Team Ski Jumping Trials.

Casey Larson


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Hometown: Barrington Event: Ski Jumping

Fun Facts: Larson is making his second appearance, after earning an Olympic berth in Pyeongchang in 2018. Larson trains out of Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove, as does teammate and Olympic first-timer Patrick Gasienica of Chicago. Larson finished ninth with the team and among the top-40 in the normal hill event. He also left South Korea with the distinction of being the 100,000th male Olympian. He competed alongside Bickner and their team finished ninth overall at Pyeongchang. Larson's sister, Cara also competes on the U.S. Ski Jumping National Team.

Lake County Summer Olympians

Laura Zeng


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Hometown: Libertyville Events: Rhythmic Individual Gymnastics

Fun Facts: Zeng, who trains in North Shore Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Highland Park, finished no. 1 at the 2021 USA Gymnastics Championship. Zeng, who is going for a second in the Olympics, finished 11th overall in the 2016 Rio edition. Zeng notched top finishes on the hoop, ball and ribbon. Zeng became the first U.S. rhythmic gymnast to win a medal at an Olympic or Youth Olympic Games. She's also the second rhythmic athlete ever to sweep all five Pan Am Games medals in 2015. Laura graduated from Libertyville High School in 2018.

Nefeli Papadakis


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Hometown: Gurnee Events: Judo

Fun Facts: According to the Daily Herald, Papadakis was part of the  2017 Warren High School graduating class in her hometown and has been competing in the sport since she was four years old. She has trained in the Gurnee Judo Club near Viking Middle School. She competes at the 78-kilogram class and is ranked no. 30 in the world. The Papadakis family has had its own dojo in Waukegan.

Felicia Stancil

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Hometown: Lake Villa Event: BMX

Fun Facts: This is the first year BMX is an event in the Olympics. Stancil graduated from Grayslake North in 2013. She started riding two-wheelers when she was just four years old. Post Lake County days, she attended Marian University in Indianapolis, and finished in second in the 2019 world cup series rankings for BMX. Stancil won her first world title in the Netherlands at just age nine.

Illinois Winter Olympians


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Jesse Compher Hometown: Northbrook Event: Ice Hockey

Patrick Gasienica Hometown: Chicago Event: Ski Jumping

Ethan Cepuran Hometown: Glen Elyn Event: Long Track Speed Skating

Kendall Coyne Hometown: Palos Heights Event: Ice Hockey

Savannah Harmon Hometown: Downers Grove Event: Ice Hockey

Austin Kleba Hometown: Long Track Speedskating Event: Campton Hills


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Alexa Knierim Hometown: Addison Event: Figure Skating (Pairs)

Emery Lehman Hometown: Oak Park Event: Long Track Speedskating

Abbey Murphy Hometown: Evergreen Park Event: Ice Hockey

Illinois Summer Olympians


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Zach Lavine Hometown: Chicago Event: Basketball

Darryl Sullivan Hometown: Marion Event: Track & Field - High Jump

Maggie Shea Hometown: Wilmette Event: Sailing

David Kendziera Hometown: Prospect Event: Track & Field - 400m Hurdles.

Tamyra Mensah-Stock Hometown: Chicago Event: Wrestling


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Olivia Smolgia Hometown: Glenview Event: Swimming - 100m Backstroke

Joe Berenyi Hometown: Aurora Event: Cycling

Gwen Berry Hometown: Carbondale when in college/born in Centerville Event: Track & Field - Hammer Throw

Michelle Barsch-Hackley Hometown: Champaign Event: Volleyball


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Tori Franklin Hometown: Evanston Event: Track & Field - Triple Jump

Kelsey Card Hometown: Carlinville Event: Track & Field - Discus

Thomas Jaeschke Hometown: Wheaton Event: Volleyball

Zach Ziemek Hometown: Itasca Event: Decathlon

Kevin McDowell Hometown: Geneva Event: Triathlon

Alex Diab Hometown: Champaign Event: Gymnastics

Past Notable Lake County Olympians


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Tamika Catchings Hometown: Lincolnshire Event: Basketball Olympics: Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Four-time Gold Medalist

Matt Grevers Hometown: Lake Forest Event: Swimming Olympics: Beijing 2008, London 2012 Four-time Gold Medalist, two-time silver medalist

Cliff Gray Hometown: Lake Forest Event: Bobsled Olympics: St. Moritz 1928 and Lake Placid 1932 Two-time Gold Medalist

Chris Thorpe Hometown: Waukegan Event: Luge Olympics: Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002 Silver Medalist and Bronze Medalist

Shawn Marion Hometown: Waukegan Event: Basketball Olympics: Athens 2004 Bronze Medalist

Charlie Houchin Hometown: Lake Forest Event: Swimming Olympics: London 2012 Gold Medalist


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Michael Jordan Hometown: Highland Park Event: Basketball Olympics: Los Angeles 1984 and Barcelona 1992 Two-Time Gold Medalist

Ken Henry Hometown: Lake Bluff Event: Speed Skating Olympics: Olso 1952 Gold Medalist

Scottie Pippen Hometown: Highland Park Event: Basketball Olympics: Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 Two-time Gold Medalist

Conor Dwyer Practices in: Lake Forest Event: Swimming Olympics: London 2012 and Rio 2016 Two-time Gold Medalist and a Bronze Medalist


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Bradie Tennell Hometown:  Carpentersville Training Facility: Buffalo Grove Event: Figure Skating Olympics: Pyeongchang Bronze Medalist

Mason Phelps Hometown: Lake Forest Event: Golf Olympics: St. Louis 1904 Gold Medalist

Daniel Dennis Hometown: Fox Lake Event: Wrestling Olympics: Rio 2016

Northern Lake County Venues to Watch the Beijing Games


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129 Center Cut 129 Center St., Grayslake

Bailey's Pub 2723 Sheridan Rd., Zion

Black Lung Brewing 2217 N. Illinois Route 83, Round Lake Beach

Bill’s Pub North 18945 W. Washington St., Third Lake

Cafe Pomigliano 160 E. Cook Ave., Libertyville

Casa Bonita Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar 633 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville

The Chocolate Sanctuary 5101 Washington St., Gurnee

Chrissoula’s Restaurant 602 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville

El Puerto Mexican Restaurant 200 N. Forest Ave., Fox Lake

Fatmans 36309 N. U.S. Route 41, Gurnee

Giordano’s Pizza Gurnee 7105 Grand Ave., Gurnee

Green Town Tavern 110 S. Genesee St., Waukegan

Harbor Brewing Co. 811 Sheridan Rd., Winthrop Harbor

Harbor Brewing Co. Lake Villa 136 Cedar Ave., Lake Villa

Jimmy's Charhouse 1413 Peterson Rd., Libertyville

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Lakehouse Lake Villa  850 Tower Dr., Lake Villa

Light the Lamp Brewery 2 S. Lake St., Grayslake

The Lodge of Antioch 899 Main St., Antioch

Lumberjaxe Axe Lounge 216 Peterson Rd., Libertyville

Main Street Social 608 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville

Mickey Finn’s Brewery 345 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville

Nightshade and Dark's Pandemonium Brewing Co. 216 W. Clayton St., Waukegan

Only Child Brewing Company 130 Tri-State Prkwy., Suite 124, Gurnee

Oppidan Spirits 220 W. Clayton St., Lot C, Waukegan

O’Toole’s of Libertyville 412 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville

O’Toole’s Lake Villa 10 W. Grand Ave., Lake Villa

Port of Blarney 27843 W. Grass Lake Rd., Antioch

Primo Italian American Cuisine 720 Milwaukee Ave., Gurnee

Salutos Pizza & Pasta 7680 Grand Ave., Gurnee

The Shanty Restaurant 38985 N. U.S. Highway 41, Wadsworth

Timothy O’Tooles’s Pub Gurnee 5572 Grand Ave., Gurnee

The Vine Martini & Wine Bar 101 Center St., Grayslake

Win Win Restaurant & Bar 30 N. Genesee St., Waukegan

Zümbier Brewery 3232 W. Monroe St., Waukegan

Southern Lake County Venues to Watch the Beijing Games


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28 Mile Distillery 454 Sheridan Rd., Highwood

Beelow's Steakhouse 763 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich

Big Bowl Chinese and Thai 215 Parkway Dr., Lincolnshire

Bill’s Pizza & Pub 624 S. Lake St., Mundelein

Bluegrass Restaurant 2636 Old Deerfield Rd., Highland Park

Bosacki’s Brewery 610 E. Hawley St., Mundelein

Buffalo Creek Brewing Co. 360 Historical Ln., Long Grove

Cadwell's Grille at Embassy Suites Deerfield 1445 Lake Cook Rd., Deerfield

Chessie’s Restaurant 200 Applebee St., Barrington

Claim Company 506 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills

Copper Fiddle Distillery 532 W. Route 22, Lake Zurich

Disotto Italian Restaurant 310 Green Bay Rd., Highwood

Dover Strait Seafood House 89 E. U.S. Highway 45, Mundelein

Half Day Brewing Co. 200 Village Green, Lincolnshire

Jameson's Charhouse 151 E. Townline Rd., Vernon Hills

Jaxx Bistro at Hyatt Regency 1750 Lake Cook Rd., Deerfield

Liquid Love Brewing Co. 1310 Busch Pkwy., Buffalo Grove

Kuma’s Corner 925 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills

Maggiano’s Little Italy 307 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills

Mambo Italiano 748 S. Butterfield Rd., Mundelein

Oaken Bistro and Bar inside The Forester 200 N. Field Dr., Lake Forest


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Park Street Street Craft Kitchen and Bar 14 E. Park St., Mundelein

Parkway Grill at Chicago Marriott Suites 2 Parkway North, Deerfield

Ravinia Brewing Company 582 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park

Roaring Table Brewing Co. 739 W. Illinois Route 22, Lake Zurich

Scotty’s on Sheridan 810 Sheridan Rd., Highwood

Scotty’s on 21 700 N. Milwaukee Ave. #132, Vernon Hills

Side Lot Brewery 110 Slocum Lake Rd., Wauconda

Slyce Coal Fired Pizza Co., Highwood 254 Green Bay Rd., Highwood

Slyce Coal Fired Pizza Co. Vernon Hills 913 Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills

Slyce Coal Fired Pizza Co. Wauconda 127 N. Main St., Wauconda

Tighthead Brewery 161 N. Archer Ave., Mundelein

The Village Tavern 135 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove

WhirlyBall 285 Center Dr., Vernon Hills

Wildfire Steak, Chops & Seafood 235 Parkway Dr., Lincolnshire

Wild Onion Brewery  22221 N. Pepper Rd., Barrington

Wright’s Brew & Bistro 10 Marriott Dr., Lincolnshire

Zin GastroPub 583 N. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich

To try and flex your own winter Olympic skills as we watch the Beijing games, click here. To see what else is going on and where else to go in the land of lakes, continue here. Click here to learn more about Lake County Libation Trail month.

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