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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Hundreds of friends and family members of Urbandale native Karissa Schweizer gathered early Monday morning as the Olympian ran for gold in the 5,000-meters in Tokyo.
While the outcome wasn’t what Schweizer or her fans were hoping for — she finished 11th with a time of 14:55.80 – the pride in her accomplishments was on display at the watch party at Wellman’s Pub.
“I just wanted it to be a good experience and to have her be happy for herself. I was just proud of her that she still hung in there at the end. I hope she knows how proud we are of her… I know she probably wanted to be in the top 10 but 11th in the world is not bad either. We will take that and we are just so happy for her,” said her mom, Kathy Schweizer.
More than 200 people, including Schweizer’s parents, sister, and grandparents gathered to cheer their track star on.
Karissa’s Olympic games are not done. She will compete Saturday morning in the 10,000-meters.
“Karissa has always run really well the second race so I think she will come back strong determine and focused. I’m proud of her and I think she will do fine,” said her father, Mike Schweizer.
A public watch party on Court Avenue in downtown Des Moines has been organized and starts at 5:30 a.m. Saturday. Karissa is scheduled to race around 5:40 a.m.