Hidilyn’s advice to young Filipino athletes is to “find your path” and “never give up.”
Find your passion, put in the effort to achieve your goals, and never give up.
This is the message of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medallist, to every Filipino kids who desire to pursue a career in athletics and one day compete on a global stage.
“[P]uwede kayong pumasok sa kahit anong sport, any sport, ang importante kasi may pangarap sila kailangan may direksyon at determination,” says the narrator (You can enter any sports but the most important thing is to have that dream, direction, and determination). “You must work hard and never give up on your goal,” she said.
“Maraming difficulties and tribulations kaya niyo ‘yan, kahit mahirap.” Huwag kayong sumuko sa buhay at sa pangarap niyo sa sports (You can do it, even though it’s tough and full of trials and difficulties.) Don’t give up on your goals in sports or in life),” she said.
Diaz met electronically with the Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V and Deputy Chief of Mission Robespierre Bolivar, expressing her gratitude to the Filipino people, especially those in Japan, who have supported her during her trip.
“Medyo nagsi-sink in na sa ngayon, pero hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala.” Sobrang grateful ako sa Japan kasi ipinag-patuloy pa rin nila’yong Olympics, hindi kami makapaniwala na natuloy ito, hindi rin ako makapaniwala na nanalo ako ng gold medal, sobrang grateful ako at sobrang saya and nakaka-proud maging Pil I’m grateful to Japan for pushing through the Olympics, which we can’t believe happened, and for ensuring that I will win a gold medal. I’m thankful and happy for it; it makes me proud to be a Filipino),” she added.
Diaz, according to Laurel, has given pride to the Philippines and has served as an inspiration and role model to all Filipinos throughout the globe.
“It’s the first time we’ve had a gold medal since we began, and it’s because of you, and we’re very, very pleased of you,” he added. “I really hope you have a happy life here thereafter since you are a tremendous example to our people.”
Diaz made history by ending the Philippines’ almost century-long search for a gold medal, which started at the Paris 1924 Olympics and establishing a new world record in the women’s 55 kg division.
Diaz presented her gold medal from Tokyo 2020 at the conclusion of the call. Chef de Mission Marianito Araneta Jr. of the Philippine Olympic Committee, POC General Manager Dinah Remolacio, and Hidilyn’s coach Julius Naranjo were also present.
Photo courtesy of Philippine Embassy – Tokyo