Meet Justine Wong-Orantes, the Filipino Chinese American athlete who was an integral part of Team USA’s gold medal win in women’s volleyball at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Wong-Orantes, 25, played a key role in helping Team USA defeat Brazil and secure the country’s first-ever gold medal in women’s volleyball on Sunday, according to NBC Olympics
- She was reportedly running all over the place to help her team set up scores against their opponent during their three sets. Team USA beat Brazil 3-0 (25-21 for the first set, 25-20 for the second set and 24-15 for the final set).
- Volleyball World named Wong-Orantes as Best Libero for its 2020 Tokyo Games dream team.
A dream come true: Winning a gold medal in volleyball has been a dream for Wong-Orantes ever since she started getting into the sport.
- Her Filipino Chinese mother, Winnie Wong, and her Mexican father, Robert Orantes, were volleyball players, the Los Angeles Times reported. Her father also coached the Mizuno Long Beach volleyball club.
- Wong-Orantes partnered with Sara Hughes to become one of the top youth beach volleyball pairs, hoping to one day win a gold medal just like American gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.
- Both Wong-Orantes and Hughes competed at the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch Youth World Championships in Croatia, where they finished with a tie in ninth place, according to her Volleyball World profile.
- Despite being the only libero for Team USA, Wong-Orantes still handled the matches well, Team USA coach Karch Kiraly told the LA Times.
About Justine Wong-Orantes: Born in Torrance, Calif., Wong-Orantes attended the University of Nebraska and played for the university state team in 2017.
- She won the Pan American gold medal and the bronze medal at the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix.
- She also won the 2019 NORCECA Women’s Continental Championship silver medal.
- Wong-Orantes was the youngest player to earn a AAA CBVA rating after winning a AAA beach tournament at the age of 12, her Team USA profile reads.
- The gold medalist is currently playing for VC Wiesbaden club.
- She graduated from Nebraska in December 2016 and has a degree in child, youth and family studies.