Hidilyn Diaz ponders Paris stint: ‘I want to know if my body can still do it’
MANILA, Philippines — Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz has been hearing a lot of calls to carry out a repeat act in the 2024 Paris Olympics lately.
But the Filipino weightlifting celebrity doesn’t want to rush on fixing her attention just yet on another arduous path going to the vibrant French capital.
“I’m still thinking about it because it entails additional three years of training and sacrifices. The preparation was difficult, I want to know if my body can still do it,” said Diaz during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday.
Next for Diaz is the 2021 World Weightlifting Championships on Nov. 1 in Lima, Peru prior to the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Thailand on March 10-20 and the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Sept. 10-25 next year.
The Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, which was shelved this year, could be held early 2022.
“I will assess again if I can still make the sacrifice (going to Paris). Is the mindset still there? Is the love to do it still there? If yes, I will go for it,” said the 30-year-old Diaz, the only Filipino who played in four Olympics and won silver and gold medals in these Games.
The sports heroine from Zamboanga City recalled the grueling road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she trained for 18 months in Malaysia away from her family due to the COVID-19 global health crisis.
“When I won the silver in 2016 (Rio De Janeiro Olympics), I got nervous when (Philippine Sports Commission) Chairman (Butch) Ramirez asked to compete again in Tokyo. It’s the same feeling I’m having right now with Paris,” said Diaz.
“I should also consider if my coaches would be willing again to go through the same difficulties that we had experienced,” added Diaz, who guested at the weekly forum with fellow Tokyo Olympics medalists Nesthy Petecio, Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam of the national boxing team.
There will be slight changes at Team HD, the support staff of Diaz that helped her accomplish the golden feat.
According to Diaz, strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo will be designated as head coach while still retaining the service of Chinese coach Gao Kaiwen as consultant. Psychologist Dr. Karen Trinidad and nutritionist Jeaneth Aro will remain with Team HD.
“My psychologist really helped me a lot. The stress and anxiety during my preparation and competition were high and Doc Karen made sure that I overcame these mental challenges,” said Diaz.
She expressed her gratitude to the PSC for bringing coach Gao into the picture since 2018 along with Trinidad, the head of psychology at the PSC Medical Scientific Athletes Services (MSAS).