Past and Present Lake County Olympians and Where to Watch the Tokyo Games 2021

By: Jonathan Jones 07/16/2021

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

The Olympic games are packed with Prairie State dwellers. According to the Chicago Tribune, since 1896, Illinois residents have taken home nearly 240 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. The Tokyo Olympics were supposed to happen in 2020, but since COVID-19 struck, the summer games move to - how they phrase - 2020NE Olympic Games.

While you're in town, there are plenty of places, Lake County Libation Trail partners, restaurants and more showing the games. Continue scrolling to see where you can watch the Tokyo games.

Speaking of exceptional athletes, Visit Lake County recently announced a newly-formed marketing partnership with the Dr Pepper Zero Sugar Chicago Bears Training Camp. Continue here to learn more.

Here is a rundown of your Lake County Olympians competing in the Tokyo 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 County 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 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

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

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

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 Tokyo Games


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

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

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

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

Giordano’s Pizza Gurnee 7105 Grand Ave., Gurnee

Green Town Tavern 110 S. Genesee St., Waukegan

Green Town on the Rocks 175 N. Harbor Pl., Waukegan

Harbor Brewing Co. 811 Sheridan Rd., Winthrop Harbor

Harbor Brewing Co. Lakefront Biergarten at North Point Marina 701 North Point Dr., Winthrop Harbor


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

The Lodge of Antioch 899 Main St., Antioch

Main Street Social 608 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville

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

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

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

Quonset Pizza 2602 Grand Ave., Waukegan

Route 41 Roadhouse 38902 N. U.S. Highway Route 41, Wadsworth

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

Zümbier Brewery 3232 W. Monroe St., Waukegan

Southern Lake County Venues to Watch the Tokyo Games


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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

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

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

Miramar Bistro 301 Waukegan Ave.

Maggiano’s Little Italy 307 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills

Wild Onion Brewery  22221 N. Pepper Rd., Barrington


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

Ravinia Brewing Company 582 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park

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

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


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