10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Hidilyn Diaz
by Toby's Sports
Hidilyn Diaz became an overnight celebrity when she bagged the silver medal at the recently concluded 2016 Rio Olympics. And yet, there’s much that people still don’t know about her – here are just a few details of her touching, motivational story.
1. She is the first Filipina and first Mindanaoan to ever win an Olympic medal. Her win was also the first Olympic medal for the Philippines in 20 years, and the first non-boxing medal the country has had since 1936.
2. This is the third Olympics she’s attended. She also competed for weightlifting in 2008, where she was the youngest in the competition and the Philippines’ first ever female weightlifter; then again in 2012. She admits she was more prepared and confident this time around.
Diaz in the 2008 Olympics. Source: alchetron.com
3. She surpassed her own goal in the Olympics. Hidilyn admits she entered the competition aiming for bronze. Imagine her surprise when she bagged silver instead – an amazing feat she credits entirely to God.
4. She comes from a family of weightlifters. Four generations of them, to be exact.
The mini bungalow house Hidilyn invested when she started. Source: sports.inquirer.net
5. She has been lifting weights since she was a child. At only 11 years old, she was walking 50 meters to draw water from the community pump and carrying two big buckets home to her family – even then, already building her strength.
Source: GMA News
6. Her cousin taught her weightlifting. Hidilyn first became curious about weightlifting while watching her cousin Allen Jayfrus Diaz at a gym. He taught her the basics, and her potential shone from that moment on.
7. She’s also an Airwoman First Class in the Philippine Air Force. She was recently promoted from Airwoman Second Class upon coming home after her win.
8. She is a big supporter of Grassroots sports training. Hidilyn earned a total of P5 million as incentive from the government for her win. When asked what she plans to do with it, her answer was certain: she wants to build a gym for children to try out sports.
9. Because of Hidilyn, the government is looking into investment in sports. The PBA Party List says that immediately after her win, members of Congress began focusing on and supporting sports as a source of national pride.
10. She has no intention of stopping. Hidilyn plans to compete again in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and this time, she’s going for gold.