Find your direction, work hard on your dreams and never give up.
This is the message of the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz to all Filipino youth who want to pursue a career in sports and one day shine in the international arena.
“Puwede kayong pumasok sa kahit anong sport, any sports, ang importante kasi may pangarap sila kasi kailangan may direksyon at determination (You can enter any sports but the most important thing is to have that dream, direction, and determination). You have to work hard on your dream and never ever give up,” she said.
“Kahit mahirap, maraming trials, and challenges kaya niyo ‘yan. Huwag kayong sumuko sa buhay at sa pangarap niyo sa sports (Even if it’s difficult and there are many trials and challenges, you can do it. Don’t give up in this life and your dreams in sports)” she added.
Diaz met virtually with Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V and the embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Robespierre Bolivar where she expressed her deep appreciation to the Filipino people, particularly those in Japan who supported her throughout her journey.
“Sa ngayon medyo nagsi-sink in na pero hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala. Sobrang thankful ako sa Japan na ipinag-patuloy pa rin nila ‘yong Olympics, hindi kami makapaniwala na natuloy ito, hindi rin ako makapaniwala na nanalo ako ng gold medal so sobrang grateful ako at sobrang saya and nakaka-proud maging Pilipino (It’s slowly sinking in but I still can’t believe it. I’m thankful to Japan that they pushed through with the Olympics, we can’t believe it did, and that I will win a gold medal. For that I am grateful and elated, it makes me proud to be a Filipino),” she said.
Laurel said Diaz brought pride to the Philippines and has become an inspiration and a role model to all Filipinos the world over.
“It’s the first time since we started that we have a gold medal and it is achieved by you and that we are very, very proud of,” he said. “I hope that you really will have a good life here after because you are a great inspiration for our people.”
Diaz made history by ending the Philippines’ almost a century-old gold medal quest that began in the Paris 1924 Olympics and setting a record for the women’s 55 kilograms category.
At the end of the call, Diaz showed her Tokyo 2020 gold medal. She was joined by Philippine Olympic Committee’s Chef de Mission Marianito Araneta Jr., POC General Manager Dinah Remolacio, and Hidilyn’s coach Julius Naranjo. (PNA)