Daughter of Samoa from Washington State proud of her 'gold'
Vancouver, WA (KPTV) - A three-sport standout from Vancouver spent the month of July far from the Pacific Northwest to get closer to her roots during the 2019 Pacific Games.
There are long wolves, but it's best to travel in a pack. For the Heritage High School Timberwolves, junior Katie Peneueta is the alpha leading them all out of the den with a gold medal around her neck.
"I didn't really want to go tell everyone, 'Hey, I won a gold medal this summer.' I just don't want to be that type of person to push it on people," said Peneueta. "I never thought I was going to be able to go represent a whole nation of people."
"The Samoan tradition is to hug and give a little kiss to everyone you meet, and so it was just interesting hugging everyone that I met," Peneueta said.
The 6-foot-2 star was invited to play for American Samoa in the Pacific Games as the youngest volley baller on the roster.
"I am so use to club ball, which is really fast and there is just a lot of quick movements, but the thing with playing with grown women, they are very methodical about their play and they take the time and find the right plays. They don't rush things," Peneueta said.
Peneueta earned the start in the gold medal game, and it was pure bliss.