Hidilyn Francisco Diaz came from humble beginnings. She climbed a ladder to become the first-ever Filipino to win a gold medal and an Olympic weightlifting record-holder by winning the women’s 55-kg category at the 2020 Summer Olympics. She climbed that ladder – on her own.
Little did anyone know, aside from weightlifting, she also tried several sports like basketball and volleyball. Then, her cousin, Allen Jayfrus Diaz, taught her the basics of weightlifting. He introduced her to the sport using homemade barbells with concrete weights in tin cans.
Then, she started focusing on this sport, and later, received a lot of opportunities. Her passion helps her to travel the world and gain a scholarship at Universidad de Zamboanga. She pursued a degree in computer science. However, she dropped out in her 3rd year and decided to fully commit to the sport.
And that’s how Hidiylyn Diaz began her career.
Staff Sergeant Hidilyn Francisco Diaz and her journey to Olympic Gold
Hidilyn Diaz started her journey at the age of 14. She was selected on the wild card entry for the Beijing Games. She was also declared to be the youngest delegate to participate and became the first Filipina to compete in weightligting. However, Diaz failed to manage a lift and fell short on all of her three attempts in the clean and jerk at 120-kg.
This year, Hidilyn has gained her silver Southeast Asian Game under her belt. And she was qualified to compete in London Olympics. Yet, her record considered ‘did not finish’ after failing to do a clean and jerk lift on three attempts at 118 kg.
Hidilyn also competed this year and her dream is now coming true. She proudly brought home the silver in Rio Olympics with a score of 220 kg. Diaz became the Philippines’ first female athlete to bag an Olympic medal in 20 years.
Now, she made it to the top in Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a finishing score of 224 kg. After all the hardships, failures, and struggles, Hidilyn Diaz is now an Olympian gold-medallist. Breaking the historic record and giving the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold.
Hard work pays off! I believe this is really where your passion, determination, and perseverance to reach your goals will lead you. Despite all the tough times she had along the way, she still made it. Shining on the perfect time of her journey. Congratulations to Hidilyn Francisco Diaz!
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” If Hidilyn Diaz can reach her dreams, so can you. Dream and make it happen.
Micah Balbin is a student journalist from Cavite State University. She's here to explore and enjoy the world of writing. Believes that you don't need to fit yourself in the standard of society. You were born to stand out in your ways.