Road to PyeongChang: Local Athletes Looking to Make an Olympic Impact

After four years of anticipation, the Winter Olympics are finally set to return February 9-25, 2018. Nearly 250 athletes are expected to comprise Team USA, and 72 of those Olympic hopefuls hail from the Midwest. Here are all the potential Midwest competitors vying for a coveted spot on the Team USA flight to Pyeongchang.

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Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
nEvans is gunning for her second straight Olympic appearance in the event after winning a bronze medal in Sochi.
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Justin Rudd
Hometown: Addison, Illinois
nAfter battling through a life-threatening illness, Scimeca-Knierim and partner Chris Knierim will represent the U.S. in PyeongChang after winning the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January.
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Hometown Chicago, IL
nDavis will be looking to get back onto the Olympic podium as he competes in the 1000 meter and 1500 meter races.
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Hometown: Carpentersville, IL
Tennell stunned the world with a victory in the U.S. championships, and she will be one of three skaters representing Team USA in PyeongChang.
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Hometown: Cary, IllinoisnGlasder is part of the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove, and has already qualified for a spot with the Olympic team in the Nordic Combined and Ski Jumping events.
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Hometown: Duluth, Minnesota
nGeorge will be appearing in his first Winter Olympics in 2018. He most recently won a gold medal at the U.S. championships in Everett.
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Hometown: Mapleton, Minnesota
nLandsteiner will compete in his second straight Olympics after taking home a gold medal in the Olympic Curling trials in Omaha.
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Hometown: Cass Lake, Minnesota
nPolo was part of a bronze-medal winning squad at the 2006 Olympics in Torino.
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Hometown: Chisholm, Minnesota
nShuster has qualified for the men's curling team in PyeongChang, and he'll be looking for his second Olympic medal after picking up a bronze in Torino in 2006.
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Hometown: McFarland, Wisconsin
nHamilton will compete with her brother Matt in the Olympics after beating Cory Christensen and John Shuster in the championship match at trials. Both Shuster and Christensen made Olympic rosters.
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Hometown: McFarland, Wisconsin
nHamilton will compete with his sister Becca in the mixed doubles curling event in PyeongChang, as the duo will be the first ever brother/sister combo to compete together in an Olympic sport.
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Hometown: Duluth, Minnesota
nChristensen came close to competing in mixed doubles, but lost in the final. Even still, she'll compete in her first Olympics with the women's squad.
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Tom Babbit
Hometown: Duluth, Minnesota
nIn her fourth attempt, Geving finally qualified for the Olympics this time around.
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Hometown: Eagan, Minnesota
nA pharmacist, Peterson won a bronze medal with fellow Olympian Joe Polo at the 2016 World Mixed Doubles Championship.
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Hometown: McFarland, Wisconsin
nA registered nurse, Roth's squad was the top ranked team heading into trials and punched their ticket to PyeongChang.
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U.S. Figure Skating
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
nBates and his partner Madison Chock are one of three pairs to make the Olympic roster in ice dancing. This will be their second Olympic Games together, and it will be Bates' third.
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Hometown: Novi, MI
nChock and her partner Evan Bates will be looking for gold in PyeongChang after finishing outside of the medals in the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
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U.S. Figure Skating
Hometown: Okemos, Michigan
nHubell and her partner Zachary Donohue will head to PyeongChang after winning the U.S. Championships in January.
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Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
nThe Shibutani's may not have won the U.S. Championship this year, but they'll still be one of three couples heading to PyeongChang. They barely missed out on making the team for Sochi, and will be out to prove their standing as one of the top pairs in the world.
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Hometown: Marcellus, Michigan
nSurdell has had plenty of success in the Nor-Am Cup, winning a December aerials competition in Utah, but he's struggled a bit on the World Cup circuit, finishing 13th in Moscow in early January.
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Hometown: Marysville, MI
Currently with Linkopings HC in the Swedish League, Billins has played in 10 NHL games.
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Hometown: Vadnais Heights, Minnesota
nBrandt has won two World Championships with the U.S. squad, including the 2017 title. She will compete in her first Olympics in 2018.
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Hometown: Plymouth, Minnesota
nCameranesi was on the team that won the Four Nations Cup in 2017 and also competed in the 2015 IIHF Women's World Championship, helping the U.S. take home the gold in 2015.
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Hometown: Palos Heights, Illinois
nCoyne won a silver medal with the U.S. squad in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and currently plays for the independent Minnesota Whitecaps.
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Hometown: Dousman, Wisconsin
nDecker, who plays for the NWHL's Boston Pride, will be competing in her second Olympics after winning silver in Sochi in 2014.
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Hometown: Farmington, Michigan
nKeller has appeared in the last three Women's World Championships, winning gold with the U.S. on three straight occasions. She will be competing in her first Olympics.
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Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
nKessel will compete in her second Olympics after racking up three goals and three assists in the 2014 Sochi Games. Kessel's brother Phil plays for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.
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Hometown: Sun Valley, Idaho
nKnight, who was raised in Lake Forest, is one of the biggest stars of women's hockey, and she will be making her third Olympic appearance. She won silver medals in her two previous Games.
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Hometown: Warroad, Minnesota
nCurrently playing with the NWHL's Boston Pride, Marvin will be competing in her third Olympics. She had three assists in five games for the American squad during the Sochi Olympics.
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Hometown: Minnetonka, MN
Morin plied her craft at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and scored 19 goals and dished out 51 assists in her collegiate career.
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Hometown: Plymouth, Minnesota
nPannek will be competing in her first Olympics this winter after guiding the U.S. team to a gold medal in the 2017 World Championships.
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Hometown: Delafield, Wisconsin
nOne of three goaltenders on the American roster, Rigsby will be competing in her very first Olympic Games.
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Hometown: Andover, Minnesota
nRooney will compete in her first Olympics at just 20 years of age. She registered a shutout against Russia during the 2017 World Championships in Michigan.
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Hometown: Lapeer, MI
Slater has played for the Winnipeg Jets in his NHL career, and is currently playing with Fribourg-Gotteron HC in Switzerland.
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Hometown: Roseville, Minnesota
nThe defenseman, who plays for the University of Minnesota, will compete in her second Olympics after helping the U.S. to gold medals in the last three World Championships.
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Hometown: Bloomington, MN
nStoa has spent the last two seasons with Moscow Spartak of the KHL. He has made NHL stops with the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals.
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Hometown: Canton, MI
The former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman will represent the U.S. for the first time as an Olympian, with the American squad sending non-NHL players to the Games.
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Hometown: Glenview, Illinois
nGehring is one of three women to make the U.S. short track team after she won the 1500 meter race at the Speedskating Trials in Wisconsin.
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Hometown: Melvindale, Michigan
nKooreman will appear in her second Olympics, racing in the 1000 meter competition.
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Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
nPivirotto will compete in the 1000 meter race at this year's Olympics.
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Hometown: Glenview, IL
Hansen will compete in a pair of events, the 1500 meter race and in the mass start.
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Hometown: Oak Park, IL
nLehman will compete in the team pursuit competition in PyeongChang after an up-and-down performance at the U.S. Speedskating Trials.
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Hometown: Waukesha, Wisconsin
nWhitmore will compete in two events in PyeongChang, representing the U.S. in the 500 and 1000 meter distances.
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Hometown: Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota
nNordgren will compete in his second Olympics, as he was one of five men selected for the United States squad.
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Hometown: Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
nAntoine won a bronze medal during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
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Hometown: Eden Prairie, Minnesota
nBratrud captured the U.S. championship in cross-country skiing last year.
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Hometown: Afton, Minnesota
nDiggins will be gunning for her second Olympic appearance after competing in four events in Sochi. She finished in eighth place in the 15 kilometer skiathlon.
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Hometown: Wausau, Wisconsin
nMartin is not only a talented racer, but he's also very smart, as he received two degrees from Northern Michigan and even won an award for having the highest cumulative GPA at the NCAA Skiing Championships.
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Hometown: Lakeville, Minnesota
nThe 24-year-old is eyeing his first Olympic appearance in PyeongChang.
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Olympic Hopeful
Hometown: Rochester, Minnesota
nTorchia has been skiing since he was two years old, but only began skiing competitively during his sophomore year in high school.
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Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
nLoomis will be aiming for his first ever Olympic appearance when the ski teams are named later this month.
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Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
nLoomis will hope for a spot on the U.S. team, and he'll be competing against his brother Adam for the precious spots.
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Hometown: Wauconda, IllinoisnBickner will join two other members of the Norge Ski Club in the jumping competition.
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Hometown: Florence, Wisconsin
nEnglund will make her first career Olympic appearance after a standout career in the junior ranks.
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Hometown: Barrington, Illinois
nThe U.S. ski jumping team will feature three local jumpers, as Larson joins Kevin Bickner and Michael Glasder in Pyeongchang.
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Hometown: Lawrenceburg, Indiana
nGoepper, who won a bronze medal in Sochi in 2014, has won three gold medals at the Winter X Games.
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Hometown: Bloomington, Minnesota
nHerman has been dominant at the Winter X Games over the years, winning three silver medals in Slopestyle.
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Hometown: Iron River, Michigan
nBaumgartner will look to compete in his third Olympic Games, and he has won a gold medal in the Winter X Games, winning the medal in Snowboard Cross in 2011.
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Hometown: Milford, Michigan
nShorr finished sixth in the 2014 Sochi Games.
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Hometown: Grand Blanc, Michigan <br<nBeauchemin has been snowboarding since he was 12, and has two podium finishes in World Cup competition.
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Hometown: West Bloomfield, Michigan
nBurton has been slowly emerging on the scene and made a big step forward in 2016 when he won the Burton U.S. Open.
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