Updated: Oct 19, 2021
4 years after being hailed as the first Filipino to earn a podium finish in the Olympics earning a silver medal, weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz is now on a mission to snatch the country’s first-ever gold in the world’s foremost sports competition despite issues and pressures.
In May 2019, Diaz was claimed to be included in a plot in undermining the rule of current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in which she denied saying that she has been busy sacrificing and doing her best to represent the country.
A month after, she took to social media her plea for financial support in the process of her journey towards Tokyo 2020, which was then fulfilled by Phoenix Petroleum Services giving her a P2 million sponsorship.
“I need help from sports specialists for recovery because it’s hard to maintain and sustain (yourself) to be in the top level,” the 29-year-old sports icon stated in the Episode 9 of The Globally Ballin Podcast on Spotify.
“It’s different when you’re going into the Olympics...to [claim the] gold medal, you need to get a lot of funding and lot of good people that will bring you towards that goal,” she added.
Diaz shone to the spotlight after her 2016 RIO Olympics stint where she earned a silver medal – the first Olympic medal of the Philippines.
“I only expected to win Bronze 6 to 8 months before the Olympics, but [China’s representative] was not able to complete the clean-and-jerk.”
However, the quest for the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal is still on and almost everyone has been clinging on to Diaz for it. “To win gold medal, it’s a really big thing – like wanting to reach the impossible, [but] I’m still positive in my training and the result of my competition,” she said. On another note, Diaz reveals her plan after her competition in the Olympics that includes her ultimate dream which is to get a college diploma and potentially pursue business as she is under the Business Management program. She has been balancing school with everyday weightlifting training, but is currently on a leave of absence to make way for the intense Olympic preparation. Hidilyn Diaz surely carries a lot on her shoulders and not just barbells while everyone is rooting for her exemplary performance in rewriting the Philippine’s history in sports. “One thing I know is that if I win (gold), I won’t credit that [to] myself, but to the people surrounding me – my core team, family, friends, government (for the funding), the Filipino people, and of course God.”
Diaz is currently in Malaysia together with her core team, Team HD, continuously training amid the lockdown caused by the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
This article was written by Carla Molina - a common contributor for Globally Ballin