It was a surreal feeling for Winnie Wong, the mother of Justine Wong-Orantes, the former Los Alamitos High School volleyball star and member of the USA women’s volleyball team that recently captured the program’s first Olympic gold medal.
Wong was able to feel the weight of her daughter’s gold medal when Wong-Orantes and the rest of the Team USA delegation arrived back in Los Angeles Monday morning and then that evening, she invited family and friends to her Cypress home to celebrate both her daughter and teammate Haleigh Washington, who is staying over for a couple of days before she reunites with her family in Colorado.
Hihh achievement is nothing new for Wong-Orantes. She helped lead Los Alamitos High to a CIF championship in 2011, then earned All-American honors when she helped Nebraska win a NCAA title four years later.
Justine was born in Cypress, but is of Filipino, Chinese and Mexican descent. She grew up around volleyball, as her dad Robbie Orantes, has been a long-time coach with the highly ranked Mizuno Long Beach volleyball club as well as Long Beach City College. Her mother, Winnie Wong, has ben refereeing volleyball locally for many years.