Pinoy pride

THE first Mindanaoan and Filipina to have a medal in Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz shared her small to big dream kind of story.

Diaz, who was raised in poverty, said in an interview that poverty is what drove her to ream big even as a child.

She reminisced those hard times when their simple family would just eat meals of rice seasoned with soy sauce and/or salt.

But now that she has shaken the Philippine sports industry after finishing the women's 53 kg silver medal of the 2016 Rio Olympics weightlifting competition at the Riocentro Pavilion 2 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil Monday morning (Philippine time), Diaz life will be better now.

Diaz will be receiving a total of P5 million cash incentive and a brand new Deca Homes house-and-lot.

Her win also ended the two-decade Olympic medal drought of the country.

Photo by ABS CBN
"I don't know how kami nairaos nila Mamang at Papang. Maraming mga challenges din, yung iigib ka ng tubig, magbenta ng gulay dahil dating farmer si Papang ko at pagbenta ng isda. Elementary ako nun," the 25-year-old native of Mampang, Zamboanga City said yesterday via Facebook interview.

Diaz proudly shared that her father Eduardo is a tricycle driver and her mother Emelita is a housewife.

In High School, she shared about not having fares to go to the gym for her training.

"Nakikibackride ako sa tatay ko or kapatid ko," she said.

When she studied Computer Science at the Universidad de Zamboanga, Diaz said they were able to afford to buy a motorcycle and her allowance also increased. 
The family now has three tricycles but her father still rides and takes passengers to augment the family income.

Diaz, however, with her victory, still could not believe her good fortune.

"Ha? may house-and-lot pa! Ang P5 million ang laki na, gusto ko nga lang P1.5 million (laughs) kasi yung lupa sa tabi ng bahay namin bibilhin ko para sa weightlifting club. Yun talaga ang goal ko to help the weightlifters para hindi sila sumuko sa life at ma-inspire ko ang mga bata na may way out sa paghihirap," she added.

When asked if she has expected or saw her victory coming, Diaz was quick to add that all she expected was a bronze.

This year is Diaz's finish third Olympic stint, saying that "the pressure in the competition was really tough."

"Expected ko lang mag bronze ako kasi nga ang pressure ng laro iba talaga. Prayers.. tapos sabi ko paano ba yun sa training ba't di ko magawa. Nilagay ko lang sarili ko sa lugar kung anong dapat kong gawin, anong dapat na i-tight na muscle. God's grace nakaya ko," Diaz said.

The thankful and grateful Pinay champion expressed her deepest thanks to all the Filipinos all over the world for supporting her and other Filipino athletes through prayers.

She also thanked her family and weightlifters of Zamboanga who she said woke up early to support and pray for her.

Even before, Diaz has already won a bronze in the World Championships in Houston, USA last year after a golden finish in the Asian Championships in Phuket, Thailand.

She also garnered two silvers and one bronze in past three stagings of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. AJRSP with SSD

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Diaz: Poverty drove me to make it big Diaz: Poverty drove me to make it big Reviewed by Kristian S. on 08 August Rating: 5

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