HERS-TORIC ACHIEVEMENT
Lifestyle Asia|October 2021
By winning the nation’s first ever Olympic Gold Medal, HIDILYN DIAZ lifts us all with her.
JACOB SAMPAYAN

It took almost 100 years for it to happen, but the Philippines finally got its first Olympic gold medal last July. Hidilyn Diaz outlifted her competition in the women’s 55 KG event at the Tokyo Games, breaking the Olympic record in the process.

Nakaya natin… kaya natin ito,” she said, breathless, teary-eyed, and excited, when she met up with the Philippine press right after her win.

Akala natin imposible. Akala ko din imposible. Nasa pandemic tayo, imposible ang Olympics, pero nandito tayo ngayon,” she said. “Kaya natin, wag kayong sumuko. Kung ano man challenges or trials yan, manalangin tayo kay God, mag-gaguide siya sa atin. Proud to be Pinoy.”

It has indeed been long and grueling road for the Zamboanga native, who, at 17 years old, finished 11th at her first Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. Diaz would then compete at the 2012 and 2016 Games, winning a Silver Medal at the latter.

But pressure only mounted after her podium finish in Brazil five years ago. She admitted that found it difficult to sustain the success from Rio.

Kinakabahan ako na every time na naririnig ko na ‘gold na yan—naisip ko na kailangan ko embrace na ito ang destiny ko, kailangan ko i-claim para manalo ako,” she says in the four-part docu series Let’s Go HD!

Diaz, who is also a staffsergeant in the Philippine Airforce, was also implicated in the ridiculously unfounded drug matrix perpetuated by the government.

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