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Inspirational Athlete Alert: Your Hometown Guide to the Olympics

Here are all the Chicago-area competitors to root for when you tune in to the Winter Games from February 9 to 25.

Shani Davis   Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune

Kevin Bickner

Ski Jumping

Hometown:Wauconda
Why you should root for him:This will be the first Olympic appearance for the U.S. record holder.

Kendall Coyne

Ice Hockey

Hometown:Palos Heights
Why you should root for her:The women’s team is a contender for gold, though it could be another nail biter: During her first Olympic run in 2014, Coyne left Sochi with silver after her team fell to Canada in overtime.

Shani Davis

Long-Track Speed Skating

Hometown:Chicago
Why you should root for him:He’s back! The 35-year-old, who flamed out in Sochi, is competing in his fifth straight games.

Aja Evans

Bobsled

Hometown:Chicago
Why you should root for her:The multitalented Evans, who won bronze in 2014, trained to compete in track and field at the Rio games, but a torn ACL thwarted her plan.

Lana Gehring

Short-Track Speed Skating

Hometown:Glenview
Why you should root for her:Gehring’s coming out of retirement after failing to qualify for Sochi. (Her team nabbed bronze in the 3,000-meter relay during the Vancouver games in 2010.)

Michael Glasder

Ski Jumping

Hometown:Cary
Why you should root for him:Glasder’s childhood home overlooked the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove—the same facility where he trains today.

Brian Hansen

Long-Track Speed Skating

Hometown:Glenview
Why you should root for him:Talk about a cold-weather athlete: Hansen also enjoys surfing in Lake Michigan in winter.

Alexa Scimeca Knierim

Pairs Figure Skating

Hometown:Addison
Why you should root for her:After undergoing three abdominal surgeries in 2016, she won the U.S. pairs championship this year with her husband, Chris Knierim.

Casey Larson

Ski Jumping

Hometown:Barrington
Why you should root for him:Larson shot down the ski jump ramp for the first time at just six-years-old during an open house at Norge.

Emery Lehman

Long-Track Speed Skating

Hometown:Oak Park
Why you should root for him:He won the 5,000-meter Olympic trials—but the U.S. didn’t qualify to compete in that event in PyeongChang. Luckily, U.S. Speedskating added him as a team pursuit specialist—that is, reserve—to round out the men’s crew.

Bradie Tennell

Figure Skating

Hometown:Carpentersville
Why you should root for her:She shot up from ninth place last year to become the 2018 U.S. champion.

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