Student Vox


/ 5 August 2021

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 has been one of the most awaited events this year as it has been delayed due to the pandemic. Despite the situation, the event was able to push through while making sure that all safety protocols are followed to ensure everyone’s safety. As a matter of fact, the event was a head turner for the people around the world most especially during their outstanding opening ceremony.

Athletes across the world are gathered in one place to celebrate sports. It is a place where you get to witness the best among the best, competing against one another. On the 26th day of July 2021, an athlete gave pride to her country. She made a statement and created her own legacy as the first ever Filipino to bring home the gold medal. Hidilyn Diaz was in tears as she realized that she brought honor and victory to her homeland – the Philippines.

Diaz won silver during the Olympic Games Rio in 2016 with weightlifting. This year, she won the gold medal with a remarkable record of 127 kilograms as her winning lift.

Diaz conquered a lot of challenges on her path towards reaching her dream. In her early years as an athlete, Diaz had less support. She did not have a nutritionist, dietician or someone to check her strength condition. Unfortunately, one of the reasons why this happened was because she faced rejection. As a woman, many people did not believe in her capability and competence to become a great athlete in weightlifting. Diaz also struggled financially while preparing for the games. Regardless of all of her achievements before, she still had a hard time finding sponsorship for the training equipment that she needed and the money for her travel expenses. Furthermore, her coach and first cousin later on revealed in an interview that Diaz faced depression and was close to quitting when she began losing confidence about snatching an Olympic medal in 2016.

After her multiple defeats, setbacks and a serious injury in her journey, Diaz decided to put herself back on track and get up on her knees again. She was motivated by the people who supported her and above all, her trust and faith in God made her move forward.

Diaz serves as an inspiration to all athletes who aspire to qualify and take part in the future Olympic Games. She proves that anything is possible as long as you are passionate and determined. As a woman, she made a breakthrough towards the barrier of discrimination and proved that women are fierce and powerful in every single way. All these were made possible because that is the power that she holds.

At the end of the competition, Diaz stood tall on her platform and gave a salute while the Philippine flag was raised and the Philippine national anthem was being played. The crowd may not have been filled with the Filiipino people, but the nation was certainly with her.