Hidilyn Diaz landed back in the country Thursday evening after winning the Olympic silver medal in the women’s -53 kg event of weightlifting with warm welcome from her colleagues in the Philippine Navy and, of course, her mother, Emelita Diaz.
Upon landing, the 25-year old and three-time Olympian put on her silver medal around her mother’s neck. According to the elder Diaz, Hidilyn placed the medal on her because it is the latter’s birthday gift for her birthday, last August 7, which is incidentally also the day Diaz won the silver.
In her press conference Diaz thanked everyone for the warm welcome which also served as a thanksgiving to her heroics.
“Yung pag-panalo ko pong ito, pinakita lang po natin na kaya nating makipaglaban sa iba’t ibang bansa. Kaya nating lumaban sa Olympics,” the 25 year old said.
She also reiterated that this victory is for her mother.
“Sobrang saya po, kasi si nanay kasi ka-close ko. Para po sa kanya tong medalyang to,” she said.
Diaz also expressed her excitement to present her silver medal to President Rodrigo Duterte.
The weightlifter shared that she is doing this because she does not know whether there will be more generations that would follow in her footsteps. For her, all of this is for the next breed of athletes to get the support they need.
“Suporta sa sports, yung sa grassroots,” the Zamboanga City-native reflected.
The 2016 Games experience, according to Diaz, is not much different from her two previous stints. However, what makes the Rio Games special is that she finally won.
The Zamboangeña also dispelled rumors regarding retiring, which was her original plans after the 2016 Olympics.
“Parang ayaw ko na hong mag-retire,” she stated. “Parang ngayon pa lang kasi namimiss ko na yung pagbubuhat.”
“Tokyo po,” she simply mouthed to the delight of people in attendance.
Diaz believes she can vie for the gold this time given the chance. “Kaya ko po, kung susuportahan po ako,” she said.
“Siguro hindi na ko papayag na silver lang, gusto ko gold na. Siyempre pipilitin ko.”