Of the nine speedskaters so far expected to be named to the U.S. men's long-track team, six have roots in Illinois.
Despite a surge of skaters across the country who have transitioned from inline, the sport continues to feast on a steady diet of talent from the Midwest, particularly Wisconsin and Illinois. And the Chicago suburbs remain plump with skating clubs in Northbrook, Glen Ellyn and Park Ridge.
Shani Davis, 31, was born on the South Side and grew up in Evanston. He's now considered the best skater in the world, decorated with world records and medals, including two Olympic golds.
Urbana's Jonathan Kuck, 23, and Glenview's Brian Hansen, 23, are headed to thier second Games, while Emery Lehman, a 17-year-old senior at Oak Park High School will be named to his first Olympic team.
Mitch Whitmore, who won the 500 meters Saturday and owns the U.S. record, skated with the Northbrook Speedskating Club. And Patrick Meek, who is likely on the team with a third-place finish in the 5,000, was born in Evanston and lived in the Chicago suburbs until he was about 12.