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

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

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

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

285 Center Dr., Vernon Hills

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

If you’re looking to get your youngster started on the Lake County olympian path, continue here. Click here to learn more about the happenings at Halas Hall. To see what else is going on and where else to in the land of lakes, continue here. Click here to Let the Ride Take You on Lake County Road Trips.

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