Gardnerville twins describe their week of fame
Two days after graduating as valedictorians of their class at Douglas High School, identical twins Gabby and Maria Munoz-Robles were bombarded with media requests from California to New York.
“We were surprised. People said being valedictorian is a one-time deal,” Gabby said. “We didn’t expect national news coming to our house and interviewing us.”
“We call it our week of being famous,” Maria added.
The calls started June 2 from “CBS This Morning” in New York. Caller ID said CBS Broadcasting.
“We didn’t pick up,” the twins said simultaneously. “We thought it was a fake.”
When they did call back, the phone call was legitimate and the sisters were interviewed the next day from their Gardnerville Ranchos home.
“I was nervous,” Maria said. “We thought it would be a bunch of people, but it was one person with a camera. They interviewed us from New York over the phone.”
The show also requested a copy of their graduation speech to go with the story that aired June 3.
News Channel 8 in Reno contacted the girls June 2 to set up an interview with them two days later at Douglas High School. The story aired that night.
“We were so tired staying up late trying to send CBS our speech. We woke up at 10 and the interview was at 11,” Gabby said. “The interview went good, though. They caught us drinking our water at the same time. We didn’t know they were filming, so we were caught off guard.”
Channel 8 threw in some trivia questions for the sisters to answer in their segment.
“We could answer the math questions, but then they asked us pop culture questions and we weren’t good at those,” Gabby said.
That same day News 4 in Reno called with an interview request.
“They told us CNN was going to use part of the interview, too, but we don’t know if they did or not,” Maria said. “We stopped Googling ourselves after awhile.”
Gabby said the Channel 8 interview was the best one.
“They went more in depth,” she said. “And we got to sit in our old chemistry room so it felt more comfortable.”
Along with television shows contacting the girls, their story was picked up by numerous online news publications including the Associated Press, MSN.com, People.com and AOL.com.
NBC’s “Today Show” also talked about the sisters.
A Las Vegas radio talk show contacted Gabby and Maria as well.
“We didn’t call them back,” Maria said. “We were done being famous.”
After the media storm settled, the girls began volunteering in Tahoe City building trails. They also applied for summer jobs at the Carson Valley Swim Center.
“Volunteering is fun,” Maria said. “We like to give back to the community.”
Gabby and Maria leave Aug. 19 for Notre Dame on four-year scholarships.
They planned on majoring in biomedical engineering, however, the program will take five years to complete and they can’t afford the last year of tuition themselves.
“We’re going to talk to the school and see what we can do,” Maria said.
Medical research is personal for the sisters whose mother has arthritis and is at high risk for cancer.
“There’s so much to research,” Gabby said. “It’s not like one person can cure cancer. It’s everyone contributing to make new medicine and new technology.”
The girls’ mother, Gabriela, joked that they inherited their intelligence from her.
“We are very proud of our daughters. I’m sad they are leaving, but I’m also really happy for them. This is amazing,” she added. “I don’t know how to explain how big my heart feels. I never had to push them. They did everything themselves. They were always very responsible.”