If U.S. Women's Gymnastics story montages and a pool-soaked Ryan Lochte weren’t reasons enough to watch the Olympics, there are also a handful of Chi-Town born, city raised athletes. Meet the Olympians who represent the U.S., but call Chicago home.

Anthony Davis, Basketball

Chicago native Anthony Davis went from a six-foot-three, marginal college prospect, to the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Tonight, he’ll ball as an Olympian and the youngest member of United States National Team. His unbelievable transformation is inspiring. The fact that it took less than three years is a miracle.


Thanks to a seven inch growth spurt when he was a junior at Perspectives Charter School, Davis became one of Illinois’ most imposing and sought after talents, committing to the powerhouse University of Kentucky basketball program in 2010. Last month, he was selected first overall by the New Orleans Hornets in the NBA Draft. For those of you keeping track, that’s driver’s license to millionaire in less than three years. And now *fingers crossed* a gold medal.

Wallace Spearmon Jr., Track and Field

The Chicago-born speed merchant races Wednesday night in the 200 meter dash semifinal. Spearmon Jr. is hoping to amend a disappointing race from the ’08 Olympics, in which he finished third but was later disqualified for stepping out of his lane. Stay in your lane, Wallace.

Bob Willis, Windsurfing

Willis began sailing at the Columbian Yacht Club when he was eight-years-old. When I was eight, my idea of "sailing" was running through a sprinkler in a pair of dolphin shorts. Anyway, as an accomplished sailor, Willis shifted his focus to windsurfing while attending Connecticut College. The 25-year-old Willis was the only member of the United States Sailing team not from Florida or California and finished 22nd overall.

Ellis Coleman, Wrestling

The 20-year-old Oak Park native is the youngest member of the U.S. Wrestling team and a pretty eccentric person, at least according to his River Forest High School wrestling coach Mike Powell. Powell said of Coleman, "I’ve never met a person - and I know Olympians - with a higher pain threshold in my life. He’s just tough, on another level. Those type of guys usually become presidents or run prisons from the inside.’’


Perhaps it was his inexperience and extreme personality that led him to attempt a "flying squirrel" move in his Olympic debut. Unfortunately for Coleman, his Bulgarian opponent must have a YouTube account and studied the wrestlers trademark take-down. Coleman was defeated in his opening round match.

Candace Parker, Women’s Basketball

The men’s basketball team gets most of the attention, but the women have been considerably more dominant, going 5-0 so far with an average margin of victory of 36 points. Candace Parker, a Naperville Central grad, is second on the team in rebounds and is averaging nearly nine points per game. The women begin quarterfinal play today against Canada and are two wins away from the Gold Medal game Saturday night.

Matt Grevers, Swimming

The Lake Forest native and Northwestern alum swam his way to Gold alongside Michael Phelps in the 4 x 100M medley relay. The race was Phelps last and secured his place in history as the most decorated Olympian of all-time with 22 medals. "It was an honor to swim with him, especially in his final race," Grevers said. "This is an incredible experience I will cherish forever."

Christina Loukas, Diving

The daughter of Cubby Bear owner George Loukas went from a Deerfield High School stand-out to a University of Indiana star to (almost) quitting the sport for good. After a disappointing performance in the '08 Beijing Games, Loukas almost walked away from diving. Thankfully, she continued and can boast an eighth place finish in the woman's 3 meter springboard.

Sean Rooney, Volleyball

The Wheaton Warrenville South grad was a four-time All-American while playing at Pepperdine University. The six-foot-nine, 220-pound outside hitter is a pillar of the men's team that is a favorites to win Gold in London.