Tumua Anae and Futi Tavana: A Love Story

Futi and my love story is a bit of a whirl-wind. We had met a few years earlier, but I was training for the Olympics in California and he was still attending BYU. We actually reconnected on my day of retirement from water polo. The water polo and volleyball teams share the same strength and conditioning coach, and I had gone in to say thank you and goodbye to Tim. When I was in the gym I saw Futi in passing and I had no idea he was playing for the national team or that he was in California. So, after meeting again in the gym, we went on our first date a couple days later and were dating by the next week. Seems a little crazy when I write this out, but thats how we met ‘again.’ So I guess we met through national team stuff and even funnier on my day of retirement from sports.

I went to visit Futi in France for a couple weeks during Thanksgiving and he was able to come home for a week for Christmas, which is when he proposed.  My parents live in Hawaii and they were in town for Christmas, so we were able to spend sometime with my family and it was a great holidays for the future Tavanas!

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I guess when you know, you know and from the first few times that Futi and I hung-out I knew that I would enjoy spending time with him for much longer than a few dates. Since we’ve dated a majority of time has been spent on Face time. Being long distance (like continents apart) has made me appreciate him even more. I’d say if he can make you laugh via Face time, he’ll make you laugh in real life. If he can send you packages and flowers from thousands of miles away, he’ll make you feel even more special daily. And if he can work hard and pursue his dreams, even if that means being apart for a while, I’ll always be proud to call him mine.

We’ll be getting married this May and in California for the summer, then off to wherever volleyball takes us for a while. I’m excited to support him in this Olympic dream, because if anyone can appreciate, love and understand what he’s doing…it would be me. I did warn him though, when we get married the only thing I won’t share with you is my gold medal, so get your own.


Tumua Anae
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