The Olympian surprises the cast of Wizards of Waverly Place with her plastic-wrapped prize

By Monica Rizzo
Updated September 11, 2008 04:35 PM

No fancy Gucci bag for beach volleyball champ Misty May-Treanor when it comes to carrying her Olympic prize.

“She had her gold medal in a little plastic Baggie, and I couldn’t believe it,” Wizards of Waverly Place‘s executive producer Peter Murrieta told PEOPLE this week, after the athlete shot her appearance – as herself – for an upcoming episode of the Disney Channel show.

Added Murrieta, “I had the props department go out and find something nice for her to put it in.”

Once May-Treanor, 31, wrapped her scene, Murrieta and the cast presented her with a wooden case.

As for the original carrier, May-Treanor says the Baggie was the result of a mishap at her niece’s birthday party last week.

“The sprinklers went off and it got wet, so now I carry it in a Baggie,” says May-Treanor – who also allowed cast and crew at the show to try her medal on for size.

When it comes to exercising her acting chops, “There was more pressure here than at the Olympics,” May-Treanor said on the set. “I was so nervous this morning. These young actors are so talented and so friendly. It was so much fun. I felt like a kid in a candy store.”

The positive feeling was mutual. “She’s phenomenal and so gorgeous,” show star Selena Gomez gushed to PEOPLE. “I was so intimidated, but we were in hair and makeup and she was so chill.”

“She pulled it off. She was funny and she had great timing, which is really hard,” says cast member David Henrie. “She’s like family. She will always have a home here.”

May-Treanor’s next stop is season seven of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, which premieres on Sept 22. Partnered with returning pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, May-Treanor says rehearsals are going well, except for her aching feet.