Hidilyn Diaz gives PHL 1st Olympic medal in 20 years PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 August 2016 11:50

By R.G. ANTONET GO

Zamboangueña weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz brought honor to the Philippines after bagging a silver medal during the 2016 Rio de Jeneiro Olympics Monday morning, giving  the country the first Olympic medal n  20 years.

Diaz represented the country in the weightlifting 53kg female category in the Olympics together with Nestor Colonia who failed to win a medal.

She bested 13 competitors with the gold captured by Chinese Taipei,and bronze by Korea.

“The family is proud of her,” Emelita Diaz, Hidilyn’s said in an interview.

Emelita recalled she woke up early to watch the event and also prayed the Rosary and lighted a candle for the safety of her daughter during the competition. While she was praying, she was informed that her daughter won.

This was special as Hidi was competing while her mom is celebrating her 53rd birthday.

The mother already felt that Hidi will win saying, “Siguro, este third gana ya tu. Porque birthday miyo dituyu juego siguro grande dale si Lord contigo tan feel yo este anio gana tu,” Emelita said.

Hidi has focused on her studies and weightlifting practice. The mother also said that now she is earning she is helping her other siblings.

The 24 years old, female weightlifter is a resident of Barangay Mampang where she has a female sister and four brothers. She is the fifth child of Eduardo and Emelita Diaz.

The mother  is a housewife while the head of the family, Eduardo is a tricycle driver.

She studied elementary at Mampang Elementary School, graduated high school at the Universidad de Zamboanga Technical High School, and took up a two-year computer course at the Universidad de Zamboanga. Diaz is also an enlisted personnel of the Philippine Air Force.

Valentino Luciano, Mampang barangay kagawad,  also congratulated the weightlifter who is a resident of the place.

“In behalf of the barangay council ta pidi kita gracias cun Hidilyn cay ya dale le onor hende lang na barangay Mampang na entero Pilipinas ehemplo le na maga atleta y na jovenes,” Luciano said.

Diaz organized the Mampang Weightlifting Club and she has her gym in their house where she and the other weightlifters practice. She coaches the children and other aspiring weightlifters whenever she is around.

City athletic officer Cecilia Atilano said, “we are very proud of her achievements.”

The city is planning a hero’s welcome for Hidilyn on Monday and she is also expected to receive P500,000 cash reward from the city government as provided for in an ordinance.

“Thank you sa kanya kasi pinatunayan niya na kaya ng isang babae dalhin tayo sa highest level of competition which is Olympics,” Atilano said

“This will boost the morale of athletes and motivate them to continue training and strive harder. “Ginawa niyang posible ang imposible,” Atilano stressed.

Mayor Beng Climaco Salazar also congratulated Diaz and said. “Ele un ehemplo modelo de un Zamboangueño. En calor de gobierno local, ta rindi kita gracias a dios por dituyu victorioso contribusyon na mundo de deportes.”

Diaz already competed during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics, and 2016 Rio de Jeneiro Olympics. She is being coached by Alfonsito Aldanete who is also a Zamboangueño.

The Philippines had its last medal in the Olympics in 1992 reaped by boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco. — R.G. A A. Go