Virgen's View: Several highlights at awards breakfast

May 31, 2012|By Steve Virgen
(Courtesy of Julie…)

Powerful messages were delivered as each achievement was read by Mike Zimmerman and Don Grable Thursday morning at Balboa Pavilion.

The one message that spoke loudest was the major impact a community can make on a child.

These weren't children, mind you. But many people at the 51st Athletics Awards Breakfast have seen the maturation of the 30 student-athletes honored by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. The coaches, teachers and parents at the breakfast helped shape the lives of the remarkable young men and women from Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar high schools.

When Misty May-Treanor was asked who was the most influential person in her life, the former Newport Harbor High standout said it was several people who helped her become a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Community, family, the power of unity, those were the fascinating aspects coming through at the awards ceremony.


Each athletic director, Zimmerman for Newport Harbor, and Grable for CdM, beamed with pride as they pronounced each amazing feat about the student-athletes.

May-Treanor said she experienced a surreal feeling as the guest speaker because she once sat where the young athletes sat Thursday morning.

She spoke of the importance of giving back and coming back to their respective high school.

May-Treanor is setting out to win a third straight gold medal in beach volleyball with Kerri Walsh at the London Olympics this summer. To reach that goal in her final Olympics, Misty has returned to her roots. She said she has been training for the Olympics at Newport Harbor. She also works out at Long Beach State.

At Newport Harbor, the beach volleyball legend trains with Maryn Ciarelli, an elite weightlifter who is the daughter of Tony Ciarelli, one of the top track and field throwing coaches in the nation.

"It was very important to involve the community and involve the people who gave so much to me," May-Treanor said. "I wanted to make the students-athletes and the people at the school feel involved with this journey. I do the same at Long Beach State. They think it's the coolest thing, to see me working out. Maybe it's because I'm going to pass out.

"It was important for me to get everyone involved who has been so special to me. You have to bridge the gap. When you leave, remember to come back. The gym will always be open. You will always have a home."

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