NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A Newport Beach lifeguard is back on duty after winning an Olympic gold medal as the goalie of the U.S. Women’s Water Polo team.
Tumua Anae brought her gold medal with her while monitoring Newport Beach at tower 24.
It didn’t take long before beachgoers started posing on the sand with Anae and her shiny gold medal.
“It’s really interesting to have someone where we live go to the Olympics and win a gold medal,” said Mikala Davenport, a teenage girl who lives in Newport Beach.
Anae’s colleagues at the beach have known her since her days as a junior lifeguard and asked the Corona Del Mar High School standout to bring the medal to work.
“It’s an amazing day for me. I’ve never seen a gold medal. It was neat to hold it and touch it. When you open up the case, it’s like, wow, this is real, this is a real gold medal. I’m very proud of her,” said Newport Beach lifeguard Captain Josh Van Egmond.
“Obviously, when you break it out and all these people are so attracted to it, it’s a privilege to call it your own and say that you earned it…but also special to share with people,” Anae said.
Anae said she plans on working the lifeguard tower at least until Labor Day before heading back to her home state of Hawaii, where she plans to work on a TV special.