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Profile: Hidilyn Diaz

 

Rio Olympics Weightlifting Women
Image by Mike Groll/AP

I wanted to do several ones before this, but life happened, so my second feature of a strong (literally, physically!), inspirational woman is on…Hidilyn Diaz!

A Filipina weightlifter who, as of yesterday, became the first Filipina to win an Olympic medal, the first from the Philippines to win a medal for weightlifting, and ended our 20-year medal drought in the Olympics.

A three-time Olympian, she was the youngest (and lightest) in her weight category when she competed in the 58-kg class in the Beijing 2008 Olympics at 17 years old. Now 25, she dropped to the 53-kg class, which proved to be effective, as she has a silver medal to show for it.

We’re not a big medal-producing country. The ones who are able to compete in the world stage are either those who come from families that can afford to send them to trainings and competitions abroad, or those who come from a humble background and have to overcome poverty and a poor government sports program. Hidilyn is in the latter group.

We all wish that things were better than how they are now, and I hope that this win will bring more attention to our sports programs, and make our government officials realize that the potential, the skill, the talent are all there, and with enough training and support, we can haul in medals. It can be done. And for 20 long years, that didn’t seem likely, but Hidilyn just proved that it’s possible.

Congratulations!!! Woohooo!!! :-))))

 

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