Wheat Ridge’s Annie Kunz eyes heptathlon gold in Tokyo

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EUGENE, OREGON – JUNE 26: Annie Kunz competes in the Women’s Heptathlon 100 Meters Hurdles on day nine of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 26, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo (KDVR) — Inside a hotel ballroom outside of Golden, Nancy and Terry Kunz sit anxiously around a table, their eyes glued to a projector at the front of the room.

The proud parents never imagined this is how they would watch their daughter’s Olympic debut, but they’re making the best of it.

“I’m on the verge of an anxiety attack,” her father Terry joked.

“Lots of tears, happy tears, and some sad tears that we can’t be with her,” her mother Nancy added.

Families typically attend Olympic events, cheering on the world’s best athletes.

But international spectators are not permitted this year, so the Kunz family decided to rent out a hotel ballroom and invite Annie’s friends, family, and former coaches.

Annie grew up in Wheat Ridge, and she was a track star at Wheat Ridge High School before competing in college at Texas A&M University.

Tuesday, she began her quest for gold in Tokyo, competing in the Women’s Heptathlon.

“The community has been great. There’s banners on the streets and in front of the school,” Nancy said. “The Wheat Ridge community is just amazing, and I can’t believe the love and outpouring we’re getting this week. It’s just so fun.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Kunz sat in fourth place, with three events to go.

“We talked last night, and she said, ‘I’m just going to try and not be nervous, and remember who that little girl was, and tap into why she started the love of the sport,'” says Nancy said.

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