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The Chicago Athletes to Watch at the Winter Olympics

Meet the skater, curler, bobsledders, and hockey player most likely to bring home a medal at Sochi.

The Sochi Olympics gold medal design   Photo: Courtesy of Sochi 2014

Of the Chicagoans competing in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, these four athletes—plus star speed skater Shani Davis—are the most likely to bring home some bling, according to NBC Sports and Sports Illustrated.

Catch them in action February 7 to 23 on NBC.
 

Katie Eberling and Aja Evans
Photo: Carlo Allegri/AP

Katie Eberling, 25, and Aja Evans, 25

Bobsled

Evans (right), from Homewood, was a sprinter at the University of Illinois (and is the niece of former Cubs hitting coach Gary Matthews). Eberling, from Palos Hills (left), made her name as a Western Michigan University volleyball player. Their job is to “push”: get the sled churning down the ice.

Likeliest medal: Silver, helped by team driver Elana Meyers.

 

Ann Swisshelm
Photo: Suchat Pederson/Wilmington News-Journal/AP

Ann Swisshelm, 45

Curling

She learned the sport as a child at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park and came thisclose to a medal in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. To train for Sochi, the West Town resident quit her sales job and traveled to Toronto (where team skip Erika Brown lives) every other weekend.

Likeliest medal: Bronze—the first medal ever for the U.S. women’s curling team.

 

Patrick Kane
Photo: Brent Lewis/Chicago Tribune

Patrick Kane, 25

Hockey

Sure, he’s originally from Buffalo, but the Blackhawks all-star forward has clearly made the Second City his home. Kane will likely skate on the right wing with the U.S. first line and would doubtless love to battle teammate Jonathan Toews and the Canadians in a rematch of the 2010 gold medal game.

Likeliest medal: Bronze. Sorry, no Miracle on Ice 2 this year.

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