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Hidilyn Diaz’s record-breaking raise is a golden second in PH sports activities historical past

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Hidilyn Diaz would without end be referred to as the Filipino to realize what many is looking probably the most vital feat in Philippine sports activities historical past—successful the nation’s first ever Olympic gold medal. She brings dwelling the coveted and elusive Gold, from the world’s most well-known sports activities competitors, for a rustic which has been attempting for the final 97 years.

The journey to that Olympic podium wasn’t simple, Diaz mentioned so herself. Like many Filipino athlete, she needed to face—and overcome—many challenges and trepidation through the years for the sports activities—weightlifting—that will later convey honor to the nation.

Coaching for the Olympics is already onerous. However the COVID-19 pandemic introduced unprecedented trials to Diaz and her crew. The most important hurdle was getting via a further 15 months of coaching due to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics itself, which was presupposed to be held final 12 months.

There have been even doubts if the Video games itself could be held in any respect, with protests in Japan calling for its cancellations for concern of being a COVID-19 tremendous spreader occasion. For an athlete, that is merely mentally devastating.

Hidilyn Diaz

DECEMBER 2, 2019: Philippines’ Hidlyn Diaz competes within the girls’s clear and jerk 55kg weightlifting on the thirtieth SEA Video games 2019. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin Vardeleon

Diaz and her crew, which the Olympian refers to as Crew HD, was caught in Malaysia for months, once more, due to lockdown restrictions. With restricted entry to gyms, she and her crew was compelled to be inventive, utilizing water jugs hooked up on both finish of a bamboo stick as weights.

Being caught in a foreign country additionally meant she was away from her household—her greatest assist system—for a really very long time, which is one other psychological wrestle she needed to take care of.

And that’s simply the beginning of it. Diaz additionally struggled with funding her coaching for years, famously airing her ideas about it on social media, which irked some officers who thought she was being an excessive amount of of a diva. She was not. She was merely asking for assist as a result of she needed to convey dwelling that gold medal as a lot as, if no more than, any Filipino athlete.

Diaz was no stranger to overcoming struggles. From the beginning, her sporting profession was fraught with challenges. 

The Zamboanga native first joined the Olympics when she was solely 17 years previous, competing within the sport’s 58kg division in Beijing, China, in 2008. It was not a outstanding debut as she didn’t convey dwelling any medal.

With a Southeast Asian Video games silver below her belt, Diaz headed to the following Olympic Video games in London 4 years later in 2012 as a extra skilled weightlifter. Sadly, she recorded a DNF in the identical class when she didn’t raise the 118kg in three makes an attempt within the clear and jerk.

Diaz scored essential wins after the London video games, bagging the gold medal within the 2015 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Thailand, a bronze medal within the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships within the USA, and one other bronze on the Asian tilt in Uzbekistan in 2016.

Diaz’s large break got here throughout her third look on the Olympics. In 2016, Diaz took dwelling the silver medal within the 53kg division in Rio de Janeiro. This was when folks began to essentially take note of the potential that she was slowly realizing.

After changing into an Olympic silver medalist, Diaz discovered extra success within the sport. She turned the primary weightlifter to win gold within the Asian Video games in 2018. Within the SEA Video games in 2019, she additionally took dwelling the gold. Diaz additionally pocketed silver medals within the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Video games, in addition to within the 2019 Asian Championships. She upped her medal rely with two extra bronze end within the World Championships.

Quick ahead to at the moment the place Diaz has turn out to be a family identify after her beautiful win on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics final month. Not solely did she win the highest prize, her remaining raise is an Olympic record-setting 127kg try. Oh, and he or she beat China’s Liao Qiuyun. So there’s that, too.

In spite of everything is alleged and performed, one of the best factor about Diaz’s win (apart from the pile of presents and financial incentives she acquired, after all) is that the 30-year-old weightlifter is barely getting began. It’s apparent that Diaz has extra glory to convey for herself and the entire nation. Maybe extra Olympic gold medals in a special class, or possibly she’ll beat her personal document. No matter it’s, it’s going to be superior.

Diaz is a proud Alaxan ambassador since 2016, one of many first few manufacturers who noticed and believed in her potential. She is the one weightlifter within the model’s roster of ambassadors. As a face of the Alaxan model, she lives by the model’s tagline, “Laban lang.”

Her bodily power, other than her values in life and indomitable spirit, has earned her hundreds of thousands of admirers. Her dedication and focus resemble that of a real warrior. Regardless of innumerable struggles via the years, she didn’t stop and evidently fought for her desires—to being an Olympic Gold medalist.

KENNETH M. DEL ROSARIO

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