There's been a lot of talk, and a lot written about the upcoming Rio Olympic Games. Most of it has focused on the negatives (and there are plenty of those) like Zika, crime, filthy water, unfinished venues, lack of security, etc. For the moment, let's put all the bad stuff aside, and focus on the Illinois athletes representing the United States.

All told, there will be 36 athletes from Illinois competing in the games, with 30 of them representing the U.S.

Here are a few competitors we should be rooting for over the next couple of weeks:

  • Evan Jager (steeplechase)
  • Conor Dwyer (swimming)
  • Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (basketball)
  • Niko Mirotic (basketball)
  • Cristiano Felicio (basketball)
  • Elena Delle Donne (basketball)
  • Julie Johnston (soccer)
  • Christen Press (soccer)
  • Alyssa Naeher (soccer)
  • Laura Zeng (rhythmic gymnastics)
  • Zack Ziemek (decathlon)
  • Kelsey Robinson (volleyball)

The Chicago Tribune has spotlighted some of the Illinois delegation: