All eyes in Champaign-Urbana will be on the London Olympics and Paralympics later this month. Champaign-Urbana residents/natives as well as former and current University of Illinois athletes will have a major presence, representing the U.S. as well as Great Britain, Jamaica, and Canada.
The Olympians include Champaign-Urbana native and University of Illinois graduate Gia Lewis-Smallwood, a discus thrower, as well as swimmer Tyler McGill.
McGill is a Champaign Central graduate who will swim the 100 butterfly. A community effort to get Tyler’s family to London is underway.
This Sunday, July 15, Pia’s (1609 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign) will be sponsoring a fundraiser to help Tyler’s family fund their trip to watch him compete. They include mom Susan, a teacher at Champaign’s Bottenfield Elementary; his three siblings; a sister-in-law; and his wife. The event will feature a beef/chicken dinner for $7 (drinks will be available for purchase. Cash donations will also be accepted.
Family friend Liz Brunson, a local sports and events photographer whose children swam with Tyler and his siblings, is leading the fundraising effort.