What a great time to be alive! The Philippines finally bags its first Olympic gold medal courtesy of weightlifter, Hidilyn Diaz!
And what a truly remarkable feat it was—she brought with it two new Olympic Records for the Clean & Jerk (127 kg) and total weight (224 kg). Imagine a lady standing at 1.5m (4’11”) lifting that much weight over her head! She is also the first multi-medaled Filipino athlete since Teofilo Ildefolso (Bronze, 1928 and 1932 for Swimming). By her admission, she had never lifted 127 kg before so she really pushed herself beyond her limits to achieve that precious Olympic gold medal!
As I watched the women’s 55 kg event live, I didn’t realize that I was watching history unfold for the country. Her opponents were the best of the best and even include the World Record holder for the event, Liao Qiuyun (China), whom eventually settled for silver. The event was truly nothing short of Olympic level and each turn was as nerve-wracking as the other, especially when it’s Hidilyn’s. In the end, Hidilyn delivered her Olympic Record-breaking attempt to finally give the Philippines its first ever gold medals at the Olympiad. It was a proud moment for all Filipinos to finally hear our national anthem heard at the Olympics for the first time ever. Finally, the country joins the list of countries with Olympic gold—after being one of the top countries with multiple Olympic medals without gold.
Congratulations for winning, Hidilyn! Thank you for making the country and Filipinos proud! This was one of the best news most of us received in a very long time! Thank you for working hard for all of us! It seemed like you didn’t just lift that 127 kg bar—you also lifted all 110 million Filipinos everywhere with your feat! Maraming salamat!