You can learn a lot about an Olympian from their teammates. But you can learn even more from their roommate. Just ask Tokyo Olympians and track and field athletes Annie Kunz and Ariana Ince about one another.
Kunz and Ince – both first-time Olympians competing in track and field in Tokyo – train together at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in south San Diego County.
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They’re also roommates at the training center, so they spend a lot of time together – used to sharing a bathroom and a living area of about 300-square-feet.
And like roomies, they know each other well – from their strengths to their little annoying habits.
“Annie’s a great roommate, we balance each other our very well,” Ince told NBC 7.
Kunz, 28, grew up in Denver, Colorado, and is competing in the heptathlon at the Tokyo Olympics this week – seven very different events, from hurdles to high jump, which Ince jokes is surprising.
“Multitasking is not her strongest suit,” Ince said in good fun.
And so, the roommate razzing begins.
When asked about Ince’s most annoying trait as a roommate, Kunz laughed. She knew just the answer.
“Ari’s most annoying trait? She overplans everything! Her brain is so Type A, where she will think of everything – every which scenario or hypothetical situation in her life,” Kunz said.
“I’m kind of the mother hen, more so,” Ince agreed. “Like watching her walk around looking for her key card or her keys and I’m like, ‘It’s over there on the table.’”
Ince said Kunz’s most annoying roommate quality has to do with her screen time.
“Whenever you’re talking to her, she’ll pick up her phone and you just stop talking to her,” Ince said. “And whenever she’s done with her phone, she looks back at you and you can just continue your conversation like she’s never stopped.”
Then there’s Ince’s little habit when she gets home from training.
“She also comes in and makes some grunting noises when she comes back from the track,” Kunz said, giggling.
The humor – and history – between the roomies is what makes them such good friends. They’ve also been huge supporters of one another through their athletic careers.
When Kunz was a student at Texas A&M University, Ince was a volunteer coach there, so they’ve known each other for about seven or eight years.
“Being roommates with her and watching her grow into this incredible heptathlete after seeing her in her college years has been really fun,” said Ince.
“I think we provide each other a lot of comedic relief,” Kunz said.
It’s all part of a unique relationship in a pressure-packed year.
“We’ve joked that we’ve talked each other off the cliff a couple times,” said Ince.
“We keep each other sane in all the chaos of training during an Olympic year,” Kunz added.
Each had a goal to make it to the Tokyo Olympics. There were a lot of pep talks to get each other there.
“One of us would be like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ and the other would be like, ‘You’re amazing, I don’t know if I can do this,’ and, ‘No, you’re amazing!’ said Ince.
The roomies each made their Olympic dream a reality.
“I think it’s been a really nice comfort to have her this year training,” Kunz added.