Hidilyn Diaz and her historic and monumental Gold Medal victory in the Tokyo Olympics serve not only as a source of national pride but an inspiration for every Filipino, especially Filipino women, to reach their dreams no matter how high or how tough the climb is.
And it is but fitting for Maalaala Mo Kaya to re-air its 2016 episode “Silver Medal” telling her life story until the time she won the women’s weightlifting Silver Medal in the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics on Saturday, July 31. This came a week after she actually achieved her goal at the time the episode was aired, which was to bring home the Gold Medal for the same sport in the ongoing Tokyo Summer Olympics. Thus, the episode aptly retitled, “Gold Medal” that featured Jane Oineza as Hidilyn.
Five years have passed since the episode was first aired, and Hidilyn detailed the monstrous physical and emotional challenges she went through before attaining her goal. In this episode of MMK Kumustahan, she mentioned being dead set in taking home the Gold after looking at the Silver Medal she won in 2016, and nothing would stop her from achieving it, not even an injury she sustained at that time. And when she achieved it, she said it took “a village” to help her. She needed people behind her to push her to the limit and reach that historic podium, from the “Team HD” that trained and coached her to the Malaysian foster family who took care of her during the pandemic.
She recounted the time she was isolated and trained on her own in the months leading to the Olympics. Hidilyn said she needed that isolation away from the distractions in the Philippines to fully focus on her rigorous training.
Hidilyn also said she was pleased with how the weightlifting gym she established from her 2016 winnings in Zamboanga has since been used by national athletes to train for their international competitions and by the local children in their town as a stepping-stone to launch a career in the sport. Promoting weightlifting among the young has always been her advocacy, to prepare the next generation of weightlifters to bring pride and honor to the country.
On how she felt since the time she won the Gold until sitting down for the virtual MMK Kumustahan interview, Hidilyn told host Charo Santos-Concio that she still could not believe the feats she accomplished. She said she could not even believe the Olympics had pushed through amidst the pandemic, let alone compete in the games. And, about her victory meant for her as a woman, Hidilyn said her triumph was especially meaningful given that she reached the pinnacle in what was widely considered as a man’s sport. She said a woman can accomplish the same victories of a man, all it takes is the inspiration and the courage to attain them.
Lastly, she was asked what her preferred title of a possible second part of her life story on MMK would be, Hidilyn said she wanted it to be named after the Miraculous Medal (or the Medal of Our Lady of Graces), which she always wears during competitions, since that made her remember how her fellow Filipinos continue to pray for her victory. Why not “Singsing”? Charo asked Hidilyn. That is also something she said she always wanted.
Watch more of MMK Kumustuhan’s heartfelt and inspiring interview with the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz in this video.