Have a minute? Strive sitting nonetheless and watching the second hand of a clock because it sweeps its method across the dial. Appears like a very long time, doesn’t it? Now, image ready for one thing to reach, not for an hour, not for a day, however for 100 years. An eternity, proper?
Now think about what it should really feel like for that century-long wait to lastly be over. Superior after which some, in fact, and it’s the very motive Hidilyn Diaz, a 30-year-old weightlifter from the Philippines was over the moon when, along with her last dramatic raise of the competitors, she gained the first-ever gold medal for her homeland after a 100-year Olympic drought.
The Philippines has been sending groups to the Summer season Olympics since 1924. Over the course of ensuing competitions, Filipino athletes have traditionally scored 10 medals, however the gold remained elusive. (Diaz herself gained a silver within the 2016 Rio de Janeiro video games.)
Coaching all through the pandemic has been tough, however for Diaz, the challenges she confronted have been harder than most.
Stranded by COVID-19 journey restrictions, Diaz was unable to see her household for greater than a yr. To prime that off, she lacked correct coaching tools and was compelled to improvise—however she persevered.
Coming as she did from an economically challenged childhood, the teachings Diaz discovered early in life about self-sufficiency and resilience actually stood her in good stead throughout the ordeal she endured main as much as the video games.
A Reddit dialogue chronicles the various obstacles Diaz needed to overcome simply to get to Tokyo, and the way she repeatedly rose to the event.
“Probably the most wonderful factor about her story is that she obtained caught in Malaysia throughout the COVID lockdown. She was solely there for an Olympic qualifying occasion when the federal government banned touring and he or she ended up being caught there for greater than a yr. I learn she needed to construct her personal exercise tools utilizing water jugs,” one Reddit commenter reported.
“And regardless of all that, [she] and her staff have been working on-line seminars on the similar time in change for donations. They used the funds they raised to assist get fundamental requirements like groceries to folks again residence within the Philippines who have been having bother throughout the lockdown,” one other enthused.
To win the gold, Diaz wanted to take down the 2019 world champion, China’s Liao Qiuyun, who’d earned a formidable total rating of 223 for her three lifts. However Diaz proceeded to set a brand new world document with a clear and jerk of 127 kg (about 280 lbs), taking her cumulative complete to 224 and cinching the highest honors within the occasion.
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Realizing what she’d simply completed, an ecstatic Diaz was overcome with emotion. Tears flowed freely as she took the rostrum and saluted the Filipino flag whereas the nation’s nationwide anthem performed.
“We’re so proud to see our motherland’s flag raised on the Olympic podium and we’re deeply grateful to Hidilyn Diaz for bringing the primary gold medal to the Philippines,” Brendan Flores, president of the Nationwide Federation of Filipino American Associations advised The Washington Put up.
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As proud as her nation is of her, for Diaz, the sensation is greater than mutual. She sees her win as a “golden alternative” to encourage different up-and-coming Filipinos to set their sights excessive, to work laborious, and to by no means hand over.
“I’m grateful that God is utilizing me to encourage all of the younger era and all of the Filipino folks to maintain preventing throughout this pandemic,” she stated in a press release reported by WaPo. “To all of the younger era within the Philippines, please dream excessive… That’s how I began. I dreamed excessive and at last, I used to be in a position to do it.”
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