Philippine Olympic Team Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz Bows Out Of Medal Contention in 2008 Beijing Olympics
17 year-old Hidilyn Diaz started her weightlifting career by sheer necessity. Growing up at Zamboanga at a young age, Hidilyn Diaz used to fetch water for her family’s use since they had no direct access to their community’s water supply. Yup, Taga-igib ng tubig!
At around age 11, she started her weightlifting training and was introduced by some of her relatives who used to compete at the national level. Once upon a time in the gym, Hidilyn Diaz bested some of the guys lifting weights, and she became an instant phenom. Standing only 4’11”, Hidilyn Diaz is the first Filipino weightlifter to be baned to the Philippine Olympic Team since 1988.
At the age of 13, Hidilyn Diaz was admitted into the national pool and given formal training to be among the best powerlifters of the Philippines. She placed 10th in the 53-kilogram class of the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, and won the team gold medal in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand in the 58-kilogram class. She was given a wildcard berth to the Olympics by the International Weightlifting Federation because of her 2007 SEA Games performance.
Well, she didn’t get much time to prepare for the 2008 Olympics, but she was very excited to represent the Philippines and be a part of the Philippine Olympic Team. Indeed, Hidilyn Diaz went all-out to do her best.
“I can’t wear sexy gowns or high heels. I can’t have a boyfriend and I walk like a boy. Sometimes I get jealous as my female friends go to school while I have to lift weights,” explained HIdilyn Diaz.
Such is the life of this Olympian, and it would’ve been a great Cinderella story if she could’ve pulled off winning a medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. However, as it stands, Hidilyn Diaz crashed out of the weightlifting event in the 58-kilogram category, ending up at 11th place out of the 12 contenders for the Olympic Gold Medal.
I’m still optimistic for Hidilyn Diaz, whom I expect to be back again for another shot at an Olympic Gold Medal in the 2012 London Olympics. After all, she is still young, and perhaps a few more years of proper training could definitely improve her. If ever, she will only be around 21 years old for the 2012 London Olympics. Unlike, say, Philippine Olympic trap shooter Eric Ang who is already 37 years-old, and might have a failing eyesight when he shoots in 2012.
Hidilyn, forget about the high heels and sexy gowns, and the boyfriend! Just lift those weights and get an Olympic Gold Medal. No Filipino has ever had that! And once you got it, I’m sure someone there won’t mind sponsoring some cosmetic surgery ala Vicky Belo for you to have your time in the spotlight with the sexy gown and the high heels. Get those 4″ stilettos so you can stand out at 5’3″. The boyfriend? You can always have more than one!