Senators hail Hidilyn Diaz for ‘extra special’ Olympic gold medal win
MANILA, Philippines — Congratulatory messages from senators started pouring in for Hidilyn Diaz after her “remarkable achievement” in winning the country’s first Olympic gold medal on Monday, with one saying her victory was “extra special” since China’s representative was her close opponent.
In separate statements, several senators hailed Diaz for bringing pride and honor to the country, especially during this challenging time of COVID-19.
“Hidylin Diaz literally lifted the Filipino nation tonight… In the blink of an eye, the country’s long thirst for the elusive Olympic Gold medal has been quenched,” Sen. Joel Villanueva said in Filipino.
[Original text: “Literal na binuhat ni Hidilyn Diaz ang sambayanang Pilipino ngayong gabi…Sa isang iglap, napawi ang matagal na uhaw ng ating bayan sa mailap na Olympic Gold Medal.”]
“Tonight, Hidilyn etched her name in our country’s sporting history. She ended our Olympic gold medal drought, and set a new Olympic record,” he added.
In a separate message to reporters, Villanueva said: “It’s very elating and extra special because it was China that wanted to snatch the first gold from us.”
[Original text: “Sobrang saya at extra special bec[ause] China [ang] gusto umagaw ng [first] gold natin.”]
Carrying the weight of a country long seeking for Olympic glory, Hidilyn Diaz finally ended the seemingly interminable quest Monday night.Diaz, in her fourth straight Olympics, delivered the Philippines’ breakthrough gold medal after conquering the women’s 55 kilograms weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Olympics.Follow Inquirer Sports' coverage of #Tokyo2020 inq.news/Tokyo2020READ: https://sports.inquirer.net/430487/hidilyn-diaz-wins-weightlifting-gold-in-tokyo-olympics
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Monday, July 26, 2021
For context, the Philippines and China have a long-standing maritime dispute, with Beijing refusing to recognize the arbitral award invalidating its expansive claims in the South China Sea.
Villanueva noted, meanwhile, that because of Diaz’s victory, the country’s national anthem was “played on the world stage once more.”
“[W]e cannot help but beam with pride. Maraming salamat sa karangalan, Hidilyn. Mabuhay ka! [Thank you for the honor, Hidyln],” he added.
Diaz’s victory also paved the way for the “Lupang Hinirang” to be played at the Olympics for the first time, as pointed out by Senate President Vicente Sotto III in a tweet.
“First time our national anthem is heard in the Olympics! Congratulations to all. Thank you [Hidilyn]!!!” Sotto said.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson likewise congratulated Diaz, saying that she not only made history by bagging the country’s first Olympic gold medal but also brought “national honor, national pride, and good news to the Philippines at a time we Filipinos need them most.”
“And more than lifting the nation on her shoulders and beating a field that included China’s pride, Hidilyn has become a unifying and rallying point for us Filipinos, to carry the weight of the humongous problems we face,” Lacson said.
Diaz, whose total lift of 224 kg set an Olympic record, defeated China’s world record holder Liao Quiyun, who clinched the silver medal.
Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, chairperson of the Senate sports committee, said he joined the country in praising Diaz.
“Your tenacity, discipline, and victory will serve as an inspiration to all of us, especially to young individuals who wish to become an athlete like you,” Go said.
[Origianl text: “Ang iyong pagsisikap, disiplina at tagumpay ay nagbibigay inspirasyon sa ating lahat, lalo na sa mga kabataang nagnanais na maging atleta rin tulad mo.”]
In separate tweets, Sens. Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, and Sherwin Gatchalian also lauded Diaz’s gold medal win.
“Truly a remarkable achievement by Hidilyn!” Angara said.
— Sonny Angara (@sonnyangara) July 26, 2021
— Win Gatchalian (@WinGatchalian74) July 26, 2021
For her part, Binay tweeted: “It makes me cry with joy. It makes me proud to be a Filipino. Congratulations, Hidylin.”
[Original text: “Nakakaiyak sa tuwa. Nakaka proud maging Pinay. Congratulations Hidilyn.”]tweeted.
— Senator Nancy Binay (@SenatorBinay) July 26, 2021