2024 Paris Olympics

Here are all the Illinois athletes representing Team USA in the 2024 Paris Olympics

From the Chicago area and beyond, Illinois Olympians will look to secure their place in history as they go for gold

The 2024 Paris Olympics are just around the corner as athletes from across the world prepare to compete on the global stage. Among the lineup of competitors are several from Illinois who have officially punched their ticket to the Games.

From the Chicago area and beyond, Illinois Olympians will look to secure their place in history as they go for gold.

And there will be no shortage of opportunities as the state has representation across a number of sports, including gymnastics, swimming, track and field, BMX racing, soccer and more.

Here is a list of local athletes to watch in Paris:

Korbin Albert: Football

Midwest Connection: Originally from Grayslake, Illinois

Insights: 20-year-old Albert played for two seasons at Notre Dame University, before going on to play professionally for Paris Saint-Germain.

Accomplishments: She has played 11 times on the international stage and has scored three goals with the Paris Saint-Germain club.

Kamal Bey: Wrestling

Midwest Connection: Originally from Oak Park, Illinois

Insights: Originally from Oak Park, Bey attended Oak Park River Forest high school for three years until he decided to drop out and devote his time to wrestling. He moved to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Now, he is headed to Paris, after a reallocation of spots allowed him to be added to the roster.

Accomplishments: Gold medal at the 2023 Pan American Games; one gold, one silver and one bronze at the 2023 Pan American Championships; 2019 U.S. National Champion.

Kennedy Blades: Wrestling

Midwest Connection: Originally from Broadview, Illinois

Insights: Blades was the first female to win a state title in Illinois against male athletes. She has a sister, Karina, who is also a wrestler.

Accomplishments: At the 2020 Olympic Team Wrestling Trials, Blades was the runner up at age 17. She has also competed in three world championship competitions. She was ninth at the 2019 Cadet World Championships, first at the 2021 Junior World Championships, and second at the 2023 U20 World Championships.

Lauren Carlini: Volleyball

Midwest Connection: Originally from Aurora, Illinois

Insights: In 2016, Carlini won the Sullivan Award as America’s best amateur athlete. She attended West Aurora High School and the University of Wisconsin.

Accomplishments: Carlini was part of the fourth-place team of women at the 2022 World Championships, as well as the 2019 World Cup team and the 2011 Youth World Championship team.

Peter Chatain: Rowing

Midwest Connection: Originally from Winnetka, Illinois

Insights: Chatain discovered rowing through his family and is now headed to his first Olympic Games. He attended Stanford University. Outside of the water, he enjoys reading, Vipassana meditation and studying artificial intelligence ethics.

Accomplishments: Chatain has been named to five national teams throughout his career. He participated in the 2023 World Championships, where he finished sixth in the men’s eight competition.

Aaron Cummings: Rugby

Midwest Connection: Plays for Chicago Lions

Insights: Cummings plays for the Chicago Lions and previously attended Davenport University. The 27-year-old is a forward headed to his first Olympic Games.

Accomplishments: He won the 2021 Club Sevens National Championships with the Chicago Lions and was named to the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens squad.

Anthony Davis: Basketball

Midwest Connection: Originally from Chicago, Illinois

Insights: Davis has played 11 NBA seasons with the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers. He is the eighth player in history to win an NCAA title, NBA Championship, and Olympic gold medal. The 31-year-old is originally from Chicago and attended the University of Kentucky.

Accomplishments: In 2012, Davis came home from the London Olympics with a team gold medal. He also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, and the NBA Championship in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Faith Dillon: Taekwondo

Midwest Connection: Attended DeVry University in Lisle, Illinois

Insights: The Las Vegas-native fell in love with her sport in 2007. During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Most recently, she was 70th in the women’s lightweight division at the 2023 World Championships.

Accomplishments: Aside from her most recent world championship result, Dillon also participated in the 2022 World Championships in the women’s lightweight division and the World Junior Championships in the women’s featherweight division.

Filip Dolegiewicz: Fencing

Midwest Connection: Originally from Park Ridge, Illinois

Insights: Dolegiewicz is set to be the Sabre replacement athlete and officially part of the roster for Paris. He previously attended Harvard University.

Accomplishments: While at Harvard, he was the NCAA Men's Sabre Champion and was a member of the USA Cadet National Team.

Lauren Doyle: Rugby

Midwest Connection: Originally from Boody, Illinois

Insights: Doyle is a Boody native and Eastern Illinois University alumn. Her hobbies outside of rugby include cooking, taking care of her dogs and watching the Food Network channel. Paris will be her third Olympic Games.

Accomplishments: Doyle was part of the women’s rugby teams at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where they placed fifth, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where they placed sixth. She also participated in five world championships, where she has placed as high as fourth with the 2018 women’s team.

Kent Farrington: Equestrian

Midwest Connection: Originally from Chicago, Illinois

Insights: Farrington was born and raised in Chicago, where he began riding when he was 8 years old and attended Latin School of Chicago. In 2000, he officially began his professional career. He has represented Team USA on several international stages, including past Olympic Games.

Accomplishments: Farrington was part of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also finished fifth in the individual competition. At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he finished 31st in the individual competition. He also earned a bronze medal at the 2014 World Championships and has participated in multiple Pan American Games.

Tori Franklin: Track and Field

Midwest Connection: Originally from Chicago, Illinois 

Insights: Franklin, a Chicagoan, attended Michigan State University, and enjoys singing, dancing, hiking, and playing sports. She is also currently writing a book. Despite playing basketball in high school, she is now on her way to her second Olympics for track and field.

Accomplishments: Franklin has competed in six world championships, winning a bronze medal in 2022 in the women’s triple jump. Most recently, she placed 12th in the triple jump at the 2023 World Championships. Previously, she competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics triple jump competition where she placed 25th.

Ali Frantti: Volleyball

Midwest Connection: Originally from Spring Grove, Illinois

Insights: Frantti is an outside hitter originally from Spring Grove who will be an alternate for the women's volleyball team. She attended Pennsylvania State University and has competed in Italy, France and Slovenia.

Accomplishments: Frantti made the senior national team in 2022. When in college, she was named AVCA National Freshman of the Year.

Evita Griskenas: Rhythmic Gymnastics

On this episode of Hometown Hopefuls, NBC Chicago's Alex Maragos talks with rhythmic gymnast Evita Griskenas. The suburban Chicago native shares the remarkable story of what sparked her journey to becoming an Olympian and so much more

Midwest Connection: Originally from Orland Park, Illinois 

Insights: Griskenas is the daughter of two Lithuanian immigrants. She speaks English, Lithuanian, and Russian, in addition to studying psychology at Columbia University in New York. In 2022 and 2023, she was named USA Gymnastics’ Athlete of the Year. She is the only American rhythmic gymnast competing in Paris.

Accomplishments: At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Griskenas placed 12th in the individual all-around. She has also competed in six world championships, placing as high as fifth in the team competition.

Ryan Held: Swimming

Midwest Connection: Originally from Springfield, Illinois 

Insights: The 29-year-old swimmer attended North Carolina State University. After competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Held is making his return to the Games.

Accomplishments: Held won the gold medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay at the Rio 2016 Games. At the 2023 World Championships, he earned the bronze medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay and placed fifth in the 50-meter freestyle. Held also has 15 World Championship medals- seven gold, five silver, and three bronze.

Chase Jackson: Track and Field

Midwest Connection: Originally from Springfield, Illinois

Insights: Jackson was born in Springfield and later moved to New Mexico, where she went to high school. She went on to attend college at Oklahoma State University. She qualified for her first Olympics at the trials in June when she placed first in the shot put competition.

Accomplishments: In 2022, Jackson took home the silver medal in shot put at the World Athletics Indoor Championships. In 2022 and 2023, she brought home gold at the World Athletics Outdoor Championships. She is the first American woman to ever win a world championship in the shot put. Her throw of 20.10 meters at the 2024 Olympic Trials was only .02 meters short of the trials record.

Thomas Jaeschke: Volleyball

Midwest Connection: Originally from Wheaton, Illinois

Insights: Jaeschke played for his high school golf team in Wheaton and went on to attend Loyola of Chicago until he left to play for Asseco Resovia, a leading team in Poland’s professional volleyball league.

Accomplishments: Jaeschke has been to two Olympic Games prior to Paris. Although the team missed a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, they did take home the bronze in Rio in 2016.

John Jayne: Judo

Midwest Connection: Attended University of Chicago

Insights: Jayne is a citizen of the United States, Great Britain, and Bulgaria. He is currently ranked 30th in the world, the highest of any U.S. male, and has competed in all three countries' national competitions before ultimately deciding on representing the U.S. on the international stage.

Accomplishments: He was the 2017 USA Judo senior national champion, as well as the 2022 Senior Pan American Championships bronze medalist. Jayne has also won numerous titles between junior competitions in Great Britain, Bulgaria and the U.S., as well as international competitions.

Jeff Jendryk: Volleyball

Midwest Connection: Originally from Wheaton, Illinois

Insights: Jendryk comes from a family of volleyball players, with two older sisters who both played in college. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games such as Call of Duty. Jendryk also attended St. Francis Loyola of Chicago, where he majored in finance.

Accomplishments: He won the bronze medal with the team at the 2018 World Championships. More recently, he was part of the sixth-place team at the 2022 World Championships.

Grace Joyce: Rowing

Midwest Connection: Originally from Northfield, Illinois

Insights: Joyce is originally from Northfield and attended the University of Wisconsin. She grew up playing soccer, and switched to rowing after her older sister convinced her to try out.

Accomplishments: She competed in the 2022 and 2023 World Championships, finishing ninth and eleventh, respectively. She also competed in the 2023 Pan American Games.

Paul Juda: Gymnastics

Watch highlights of Paul Juda at the U.S. Gymnastics Trials.

Midwest Connection: Originally from Deerfield, Illinois

Insights: A rising junior at the University of Michigan, Juda has competed at both the collegiate and elite levels. His favorite events are high bar and floor exercise. Outside of the gym, he likes to golf as well as read.

Accomplishments: Juda was the 2022 NCAA all-around champion and has won several other collegiate medals in individual events. He was also part of the bronze medal-winning 2023 men’s team at the World Championships.

Casey Krueger: Football

Midwest Connection: Originally from Naperville, Illinois

Insights: The 33-year-old is a graduate of Florida State University. She previously competed in the 2020 Olympics.

Accomplishments: She was part of the bronze medal-winning team in Tokyo.

Jewell Loyd: Basketball

Midwest Connection: Originally from Lincolnwood, Illinois

Insights: Loyd is a guard for the Seattle Storm and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She was named to the 2024 Paris team in June after attending the women’s national team training camp in April. She was nicknamed “Gold Mamba” by Kobe Bryant.

Accomplishments: Part of the gold medal-winning women’s team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Sandi Morris: Track and Field

Pole vaulter Sandi Morris is heading to her third Olympics, this time as an alternate. The suburban Chicago opens up about what she calls the 'worst day of her life' while also explaining why she keeps coming back for more and why she says the sport chose her

Midwest Connection: Originally from Downers Grove, Illinois

Insights: Morris is a pole vaulter who is originally from Downers Grove but moved to South Carolina at a young age. She attended the University of Arkansas. She will be an alternate in Paris.

Accomplishments: Competed in both the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At the 2016 Games, she won a silver medal in the women’s pole vault.

Ryan Murphy: Swimming

On this episode of Hometown Hopefuls, NBC Chicago’s Alex Maragos talks with Olympic swimmer Ryan Murphy. The suburban Chicago native shares his hopes for his third Olympic games and how he got to where he is today

Midwest Connection: Born in Palos Heights, Illinois

Insights: “King of the Backstroke” Murphy was born in Palos Heights and later moved to Ponte Verda Beach, Florida. He enjoys golfing, cooking, and investing. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkley.

Accomplishments: Three gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and one gold, one silver, and one bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He has 31 World Championship medals total.

Alyssa Naeher: Football

Midwest Connection: Plays for the Chicago Red Stars 

Insights: Naeher hails from Stamford, Connecticut, and has already competed in two Olympics. She also played basketball in high school and enjoys doing crossword puzzles.

Accomplishments: She has two gold World Championship medals from 2015 and 2019, as well as one bronze medal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Anna Peplowski: Swimming

Midwest Connection: Originally from Germantown Hills, Illinois 

Insights: Peplowski currently attends Indiana University, and trains at the Bloomington-Normal YMCA.

Accomplishments: Eight-time NCAA All-American.

Jordyn Poulter: Volleyball

Midwest Connection: Originally from Naperville, Illinois

Insights: Poulter attended the University of Illinois and enjoys playing the piano and guitar. She aspires to one day be a filmmaker.

Accomplishments: 2020 Olympic gold medalist with the team, 2022 World Championship team member.

Deanna Price: Track and Field

Midwest Connection: Attended Southern Illinois University

Insights: Price is a hammer thrower who is on her way to her third Olympic Games this year. She is a Missouri native who attended Southern Illinois University, where she became the fifth woman in NCAA history to win back-to back hammer throw titles. She was also an assistant coach at the University of Illinois

Accomplishments: Price holds the American record for hammer throw, which she set at the 2020 Olympic Trials. She placed eight in both the Tokyo Olympic Games and the Rio Olympic Games in the hammer throw. She has also competed in four World Championships, where she won one gold medal and one bronze medal.

Rajeev Ram: Tennis

Midwest Connection: Attended University of Illinois

Insights: Ram is from Indiana and attended University of Illinois. He began playing tennis at age 4 and has been pursuing his career ever since. His favorite surface to play on his grass. When he’s not playing, he enjoys ping pong, golf, spending time with his family and listening to music.

Accomplishments: He won the mixed doubles tournament at the 2019 and 2021 Australian Open. He also won the silver medal in mixed doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympics and placed ninth in mixed doubles at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Josef Rau: Wrestling

Midwest Connection: Originally from Chicago, Illinois

Insights: Rau is a Chicago native who attended Elmhurst College. His hobbies include singing, stand-up comedy, and skateboarding. He was the overall champion at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Accomplishments: Pan American Games gold medalist, 2016 Olympic qualifier, 2023 U.S. Open Champion.

Erin Reese: Track and Field

Midwest Connection: Originally from Mount Prospect, Illinois

Insights: Reese attended Prospect High School and went on to Dayton University, where she picked up the hammer throw, before transferring to Indiana State University. She currently trains in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Accomplishments: Won the IHSA state title in discus. She is also an NCAA runner-up in the hammer throw.

Dana Rettke: Volleyball

Midwest Connection: Originally from Riverside, Illinois

Insights: Rettke is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she majored in marketing and international business. She also played basketball in high school.

Accomplishments: 2016 Illinois High School Player of the Year, 2017 AVCA National Freshman of the Year.

Kelsey Robinson Cook: Volleyball

Midwest Connection: Originally from Bartlett, Illinois

Insights: Robinson Cook started playing club volleyball at age 10. She currently has a YouTube channel chronicling life as a professional athlete. Her hobbies include cooking, traveling, and writing.

Accomplishments: Three years of World Championship experience, one Olympic gold medal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and one bronze medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Maggie Shea: Sailing

Midwest Connection: Originally from Wilmette, Illinois

Insights: Shea grew up sailing on Lake Michigan. Her hobbies include yoga, spinning, and baking.

Accomplishments: Competed in a total of 12 World Championships, where she has earned two bronze medals. She also previously competed in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Gabriel “Gaga” Slonina: Football

Midwest Connection: Originally from Addison, Illinois

Insights: Slonina is a goalkeeper who has played for a variety of different clubs, including internationally in Belgium. The 20-year-old U.S. National Team member has also played for the Chicago Fire. After signing at age 14, he became the second-youngest signer in Major League Soccer history and the youngest ever for the Chicago Fire.

Accomplishments: Years of playing for the Chicago Fire, Premier League club for Chelsea, and Polish National Team. At age 17, he became the youngest starting goalkeeper in history for the Chicago Fire.

Felicia Stancil: BMX

On this episode of Hometown Hopefuls, NBC Chicago's Alex Maragos talks with BMX racer Felicia Stancil. The suburban Chicago native shares the story about her mom's death and how it led to her lifelong BMX career and so much more

Midwest Connection: Originally from Lake Villa, Illinois

Insights: Stancil is a returning Olympian who narrowly missed medaling in Tokyo, finishing in fourth place. She began cycling when she was 4 years old. Her father, Jamie Stancil, also competed in the sport.

Accomplishments: She has competed in eight World Championships and has a total of five gold medals.

Ashley Sessa: Field Hockey

Midwest Connection: Northwestern University Athlete

Insights: Sessa is a forward from Pennsylvania who plays field hockey at Northwestern University. She's been playing field hockey since she was 4 years old, and hasn't stopped since. According to Sessa, the best advice she's been given is "everything happens for a reason."

Accomplishments: She won gold at the 2023 Pan American Championships. In addition, she has competed at the Junior World Cup and FIH Pro League.

Mallory Swanson: Football

Midwest Connection: Plays for the Chicago Red Stars

Insights: Swanson is another returning Olympian. When she competed at the 2016 Rio Games, she was the youngest athlete in the U.S. Women’s National Team pool. She is now a member of the Chicago Red Stars team, where she plays forward.

Accomplishments: Swanson was a member of the fifth-place team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She also won a gold medal with the 2019 World Championship team.

Zach Ziemek: Track and Field

Midwest Connection: Originally from Itasca, Illinois 

Insights: Ziemek is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has competed in two previous Olympic Games in the decathlon competition. He has volunteered with the Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels, and several other youth track programs.

Accomplishments: Competed in five World Championships and earned a bronze medal in the decathlon in 2022. He is also a two-time Olympian who finished seventh in Rio and sixth in Tokyo.

Maddie Zimmer: Field Hockey

Midwest Connection: Northwestern University Athlete

Insights: Zimmer is originally from Pennsylvania and plays field hockey at Northwestern University. She has been playing field hockey since the age of 7, when her mom decided she wanted her to learn and signed her up.

Accomplishments: Zimmer competed in the 2023 Pan American Games. She also participated in the 2021 Junior Pan American Championship, where she brought back a bronze medal.

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