Hidilyn Diaz – Philippines First Olympic Gold Medalist!

Every Filipino is celebrating and feeling the moment as—FINALLY—we won our first ever Olympic Gold Medal. 

It’s that goosebumps and a sweet heartache you feel as you watch video clips of our national anthem played internationally, as a sign of triumph! 

Tokyo Olympics 2020 Gold Medalist Hidilyn Francisco Diaz, 30, born February 20, 1991, is the first-ever Filipino athlete who won gold in the Women’s 55kg category for Weightlifting last Monday (July 26, 2021). It was indeed a triumphant victory for the never-say-die athlete who’s been competing since we ever knew. 

Hidilyn Diaz is also a silver Olympic medalist in the recent Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics. She is the second Filipino athlete to win 2 Olympic medals. 

We’ve waited for 97 years before this moment arrived, and we can say that we indeed are proud of this moment. Since we joined in 1924, Hidilyn Diaz is a true hero for everyone. The honor that she brings reminds us that hard work beats talent when talent is all we have. That despite the delay, it thus is a sweet victory. 

It’s also the first time our national anthem is played in the last 32 Olympic seasons. The Olympics are done every four years, and regardless of the delay, we can never be any prouder with our powerful weightlifters! 

Getting to know Hidilyn Diaz

5th child from the six, Hidilyn Diaz, is the daughter of Eduardo Diaz and Emelita Diaz. Zamboanga City, his father, was a tricycle driver then became a fisherman and a farmer. 

Her first passion is to be a banker, but she was shown love for the sport at a young age. Various sports like basketball, volleyball, and more kept her busy, but Hidilyn’s cousin Allen Jayfrus Diaz introduced her to the fundamentals of weightlifting

Pursuing her bachelor’s degree major in computer science at the Universidad de Zamboanga. Unfortunately, like most Filipino students who lack financial capabilities stopped schooling during her third year as an irregular student as her course became unsuitable for her dreams. 

She said studies had affected her training. With her success in the 2016 Olympics, Hidilyn then decided to pursue tertiary education and plan to pursue a degree related to sports in the country’s capital—Manila. 

In the first month of 2017, Hidilyn was granted a scholarship at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. After that, she filed a leave of absence to her school to focus on her preparation for the Asian Games in 2017.

In 2020, Diaz then re-enrolled into an online class since the Olympics was moved to July 2021.

Competitive career breakdown: 

Olympic Records – Hidilyn Diaz

  • 2008 Beijing Olympics – 10th (Title 192)
  • 2012 London Olympics – DNF
  • 2016 Rio Olympics – Silver Medal (Total 200)
  • 2020 Tokyo Olympics – Gold Medal (Total 224)

World Championships

  • 2015 Houston – 3rd (Total 199)
  • 2017 Anaheim – 3rd (Total 199)
  • 2019 Pattaya Thailand – 3rd (Total 214)
  • 2018 Asian Games – Gold
  • 2019 SEA Games – Gold
  • 2020 Roma Weightlifting World Cup – Gold (3)

Her record-breaking lift elicited tears from Diaz, who hugged her coaches after completion. While standing on the podium, she pointed to the flag of her country on her jersey while clutching her gold medal.

This scene has been circulating social media posts and still gives goosebumps to every Filipino. Who would forget about this historical moment, the moment everyone has been waiting for—roughly a  millenium for us but, yes it did happen and will be remembered for the rest of our lives! 

Weight-Lifting Prizes Awaits the Gold Medalist! 

After winning the first-ever gold medal for the country, rewards are genuinely flowing into Ms Diaz’s hard work. From millions of cash, properties to lifetime free flights and more, it indeed is worth it, and she deserves all of this. 

As of writing this article (and we will update it when everyone has already decided what to give our hero: 

  • Php 14 Million worth of condo unit from Megaworld
  • Php 10 Million from the National Gov’t as mandated by law
  • Php 10 Million from Ramon S. Ang
  • Php 10 Million from Manny V Pangilinan
  • Php 5 Million from Dennis Uy’s Phoenix Petroleum 
  • Php 4 Million worth of house and lot from Century Properties
  • Php 3 Million from Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero
  • PHP 2.5 Million from Zamboanga City
  • Lifetime free fuel from Phoenix Petroleum
  • 13-Seater Van from Foton Motor Philippines
  • Lifetime FREE Flights from AirAsia Philippines  
  • 80k Free Miles per year for life from Philippine Airlines

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz will be promoted in the Philippine Air Force one rank higher for getting the nation’s first gold medal at the Olympics, the military announced Wednesday. She will then be a Staff Sergeant. 

When things get tough, we have to remember that quitting should never be part of our options. Like Ms Hidilyn, she eyes for the trophy and keeps pushing her limits. With hard work and a heart that perseveres, nothing is impossible. It may take 97 years for our country to get a gold medal in the Olympics, but it did happen, and we are so proud that this happened in our lifetime.  

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