Hidilyn Diaz overcomes struggles to make history for PH with gold medal
MANILA, Philippines — Before the accolades and Olympic medals, Hidilyn Diaz had her fair share of struggles and adversities along the way.
Diaz came from humble beginnings and at the young age of 11 was introduced to weightlifting—the sport that eventually became her pathway out of poverty.
But it wasn’t easy and it certainly didn’t happen overnight.
“Ang dami kong pinagdaanan. After winning the Olympics (Rio 2016), siyempre ang hirap ma-sustain,” an emotional Diaz recalled Monday night after making history as the first Filipino to win an Olympic gold medal. “…tapos nagkaroon pa ng matrix. Sobrang gulo ng buhay ko nung time na yon. Then I decided I have to stop in school para makapag-training.”
(I had to go through a lot. I had a hard time sustaining my form after winning the Olympics…then there’s that matrix. My life was a mess during that time. Then, I decided I have to stop in school to focus on my training.)
Diaz ended the country’s long gold medal drought on Monday, winning the coveted top prize after a tense competition where her final lift–an Olympic record of 127kg in clean and jerk–sealed the victory.
“I sacrificed a lot. Hindi ko nakasama yung nanay at tatay ko for how many months and years na and then siyempre sa training lahat masakit. Pero may plano si God,” added the 30-year-old Zamboanga City native, who competed in her fourth straight and likely her last Olympics.
(I sacrificed a lot. I wasn’t able to be with my mother and father for how many months and years and then of course, training was excruciating. But God had a plan.)
The pandemic complicated things even more as Diaz and his team were forced to spend their Olympic buildup in Malaysia.
But there was no stopping Diaz from fulfilling what seemed to be an improbable dream.
“Kaya natin ‘to. Akala natin imposible, akala ko rin imposible. Wag kayong sumuko,” she said.
(We can do it. We all thought it was impossible, I thought it was impossible. Let’s not give up.)
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