FLASHBACK: Hidilyn a product of modest origins | Inquirer Sports
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FLASHBACK: Hidilyn a product of modest origins

/ 06:12 PM July 27, 2021

(The following is a story titled “Gallery: Hidilyn Diaz’s humble beginnings” published in INQUIRER.net on August 10, 2016, with photographs by Julie Alipala of the Inquirer Mindanao Bureau.)

Before she got her moment at the podium in the most prestigious sporting event in the world, Hidilyn Diaz was just a small-town girl with big dreams.

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She lived a simple life with her family in their humble mini bungalow house in Zamboanga City. Her weightlifting equipment, which helped her become the country’s first medalist in the Olympics in the last two decades, were mostly donated by friends and family.

READ: Diaz’s silver glitters like gold

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Now, Diaz is set for superstardom after bringing home that long-awaited silver medal in the Games, a first since Onyok Velasco did it in 1996.

Wiping her teams, Emelita Diaz, mother of Hidilyn, narrated their hardship and her daughter's determination to bag medals for the country. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

Wiping her tears, Emelita Diaz, mother of Hidilyn, narrated their hardship and her daughter’s determination to bag medals for the country. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

This is where Hidilyn Diaz practiced everytime she comes home in Mampang barangay, Zamboanga City. Most of the weightlifting materials are donated by coaches, friends and schools Universidad de Zamboanga. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

This is where Hidilyn Diaz practiced every time she comes home in Mampang barangay, Zamboanga City. Most of the weightlifting materials are donated by coaches, friends and schools Universidad de Zamboanga. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

This is where Hidilyn Diaz practiced everytime she comes home in Mampang barangay, Zamboanga City. Most of the weightlifting materials are donated by coaches, friends and schools Universidad de Zamboanga. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

This is where Hidilyn Diaz practiced every time she comes home in Mampang barangay, Zamboanga City. Most of the weightlifting materials are donated by coaches, friends and schools Universidad de Zamboanga. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

A mini bungalow house, one of the many fruits Hidilyn Diaz invested when she started competing in weightlifting. This is where Hidilyn Diaz practiced everytime she comes home in Mampang barangay, Zamboanga City. Most of the weightlifting materials are donated by coaches, friends and schools Universidad de Zamboanga. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

A mini bungalow house, one of the many fruits Hidilyn Diaz invested when she started competing in weightlifting. This is where Hidilyn Diaz practiced every time she comes home in Mampang barangay, Zamboanga City. Most of the weightlifting materials are donated by coaches, friends and schools Universidad de Zamboanga. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

Eduardo Diaz Sr. and Emelita Diaz; parents of Hidilyn Diaz, are proud to show their daughters framed painting during the SEA Games competition. This is where Hidilyn Diaz practiced everytime she comes home in Mampang barangay, Zamboanga City. Most of the weightlifting materials are donated by coaches, friends and schools Universidad de Zamboanga. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

Eduardo Diaz Sr. and Emelita Diaz; parents of Hidilyn Diaz, are proud to show their daughters framed paintings during the SEA Games competition. This is where Hidilyn Diaz practiced every time she comes home in Mampang barangay, Zamboanga City. Most of the weightlifting materials are donated by coaches, friends and schools Universidad de Zamboanga. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

Hidilyn Diaz loves to collect pins from all over the country and used it as a frame to her photos.

Hidilyn Diaz loves to collect pins from all over the country and used them as a frame for her photos.

Mr. Eduardo Diaz, father of Hidilyn, showed the tricycle her daughter brought through her income from being a weightlifter. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

Mr. Eduardo Diaz, the father of Hidilyn, showed the tricycle her daughter brought through her weightlifter income. PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

Hidilyn is in one of her out of the country competition together with Zamboangueno weightlifter Nestor Colonia. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Hidilyn is in one of her out-of-the-country competitions together with Zamboangueno weightlifter Nestor Colonia. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Meet Philippine Air Force Airwoman Second Class Hidilyn Diaz. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Meet Philippine Air Force Airwoman Second Class Hidilyn Diaz. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Three years ago, when Hidilyn Diaz finally admitted to the Philippine Air Force. She posed with her parents and siblings. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Three years ago, when Hidilyn Diaz was finally admitted to the Philippine Air Force. She posed with her parents and siblings. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

In her younger days, Hidilyn Diaz already tried bigger weights beyond her weight. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

In her younger days, Hidilyn Diaz already tried bigger weights beyond her weight. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

In her younger days, Hidilyn Diaz already tried bigger weights beyond her weight. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

In her younger days, Hidilyn Diaz already tried bigger weights beyond her weight. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Despite family's hardships, Diazes make sure to have something simple but special for Hidilyn Diaz for every special occasion like birthday or graduation. Here Diaz, together with her mother Emelita, celebrated her highschool graduation from Universidad de Zamboanga Technical School. In her younger days, Hidilyn Diaz already tried bigger weights beyond her weight. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Despite family’s hardships, Diazes make sure to have something simple but special for Hidilyn Diaz for every special occasion like birthday sor graduation. Together with her mother Emelita, Diaz celebrated her high school graduation from Universidad de Zamboanga Technical School. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Hidilyn Diaz in her teenage years, highschool days at Universidad de Zamboanga Technical School. In her younger days, Hidilyn Diaz already tried bigger weights beyond her weight. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Hidilyn Diaz in her teenage years, high school days at Universidad de Zamboanga Technical School. In her younger days, Hidilyn Diaz already tried bigger weights beyond her weight. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

At age of 12, Hidilyn Diaz graduated from her primary education at Mampang Elementary School. Diaz wearing a green graduation dress. In her younger days, Hidilyn Diaz already tried bigger weights beyond her weight. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

At age of 12, Hidilyn Diaz graduated from her primary education at Mampang Elementary School. Diaz wearing a green graduation dress. In her younger days, Hidilyn Diaz already tried bigger weights beyond her weight. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE ALIPALA

Hidilyn Diaz at two years old at their home in Mampang Village, Zamboanga. CONTRIBUTE PHOTO

Hidilyn Diaz at two years old at their home in Mampang Village, Zamboanga. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Together with her aunt celebrating her birthday. She was 3 years old here. CONTRIBUTEd PHOTO

Together with her aunt celebrating her birthday. She was 3 years old here. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

At fives years old, Hidilyn Diaz completed her kindergarten education at Mampang Elementary school in Zamboanga City. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE S. ALIPALA

At five years old, Hidilyn Diaz completed her kindergarten education at Mampang Elementary school in Zamboanga City. REPRODUCTION PHOTO BY JULIE S. ALIPALA

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