Diaz spent seven months away from her family after being stuck due to COVID-19 restrictions while on training in Malaysia. ‘I miss my mom and her food,’ she said in an interview ahead of the Olympics.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines, ending the nation’s 97-year drought.
“History. Made,” the Olympics said on its Twitter account after 30-year-old Diaz, a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics, won in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting competition in Tokyo on Monday. She lifted an Olympic record 127 kilograms in the clean and jerk event, which sealed her victory, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
Diaz spent seven months away from her family after being stuck due to COVID-19 restrictions while on training in Malaysia. “I miss my mom and her food,” she said in an interview ahead of the Olympics. “But this is what I want, this is what I love to do.”
With the win, Diaz will take with her 33 million pesos (US$660,000) in cash prizes from the government and several businessmen and a house and lot. She will also reportedly receive a luxury condo. The Philippine Sports Commission guarantees a 10 million-peso incentive for every Olympic gold.
“The entire Filipino nation is proud of you,” President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said. On top of that, Diaz is expected to be given a house and lot in Tagaytay courtesy of Philippine Olympic president Abraham Tolentino, as well as a luxury $280,000 (14 million pesos) condo in Eastwood City courtesy of Chinese Filipino billionaire Andrew Lim Tan.”It’s unbelievable, it’s a dream come true,” Diaz, who previously won a silver medal at Rio 2016, told AFP, Eurosport reported.
Diaz continued: “I want to say to the young generation in the Philippines: you can have this dream of gold too. This is how I started and finally, I was able to do it.
“I’m looking forward to enjoying life because I have been in Malaysia for almost two years, so I’m really thankful I can go home now and celebrate with my family and the people who support me.”