Thanks, just the same, for missing the gold | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Thanks, just the same, for missing the gold

/ 01:38 AM September 01, 2016

STRONG and hardy Hidilyn Diaz surpassed herself to win a weightlifting silver medal in the Rio Olympics, thereby touching off celebrations as though she had bagged the first Olympic gold medal for the Philippines. The joyous call was right: the silver medal felt and shone like gold for her medal-hungry country.

The second-best finish by the first woman to win an Olympic medal for the Philippines, no doubt, was the best thing that ever happened to the Philippines in the quadrennial Summer Olympics, after a 20-year medal drought.

There were two previous silver medal finishes, both in boxing, by the Philippines: Anthony Villanueva in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and Mansueto Velasco in the 1996 Atlanta Games.


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Hidilyn received all the deserved tribute and rewards, including those from President Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and both houses of Congress.

The great thing about this unassuming daughter of a poor daily wage-earner from Zamboanga is that she has remained very thankful and, at the same time, humble and unaffected.

The day she came home to receive her deserved ovation, the first wish she made was to be able to go back straight to the small personal gym in her obscure neighborhood and train.

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She has vowed to go for the gold in the next Olympiad in Tokyo.

For the record, Hidilyn bared that, going by the great challenge, she would have been very grateful with a bronze medal in the Rio 53-kg competition. She would not deny though how hard she had prayed, and was definitely touched by the Hand of God, in the most trying moments of her event.


She had tried and missed miserably in two previous Olympiads, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

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She was, no doubt, a long, long shot in Rio.

There’s a bigger question: What if Hidilyn, given her determination, luck, long and hard preparation, ended up bagging the gold medal itself in Rio de Janeiro?

That, no doubt, would’ve touched off tumultuous revelry; there would have been dancing in the streets, a national euphoria to rival that day in February 1986 when Malacañang was stormed and dictator Marcos was driven out of power.

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Sorry, but there was another appalling possibility. The instant realization of that dream gold medal would’ve also sent national sports leaders, mainly the underachieving heads of the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission, erupting in pride and joy, as though they had hit their original target and accomplished their mission, with all prevailing national sporting ills instantly remedied and cured.

There was no doubt these jaded national leaders had been waiting for this chance all these past fruitless years.

Shouldn’t we now all be doubly thankful that Ms. Diaz, with her glittering silver, has also prevented that impending anomaly?

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It would’ve been truly absurd and obscene how a gold medal by Hidilyn could’ve been claimed and sworn to as a cure-all for the storied national sporting ills by ill-equipped sports leaders, who would offer nothing but pitiful diagnoses for all debacles and past failures.

At least, with the silver not glowing like gold among for these certified excursionists in the national sporting hierarchy, the new PSC chief wasted no time and declared a total reformation program, anchored on the establishment of a well-equipped, proficiently staffed national sports academy.

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Thank you very much, Ms. Diaz for missing the gold. May you have all the power, the luck, to win it in Tokyo four years from now.

TAGS: Hidilyn Diaz, medal, Rio Olympics, silver, silver medal, the Philippines, Weightlifting

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