Hidilyn Diaz admitted that she felt frustrated upon hearing the tough news that the Tokyo Olympics and the qualifying tournaments got delayed, no thanks to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist is in the middle of her preparations for the Games in Malaysia, where she learned about the development.
Last March, the International Olympic Committee and Japan decided to postpone the Olympics no later than the summer of 2021 due to the health crisis.
“Nalaman ko na ‘yung Olympics na-postpone, tapos ‘yung mga laro ko na-cancel, so parang frustrated din ako,” Diaz said in Tiebreaker Vodcasts’ So She Did, presented by SMART — hosted by Martie Bautista and Trina Guytingco.
The pandemic also affected Diaz’s training in the country, which once had the most number of COVD-19 cases in the Southeast Asian region.
Diaz recalled how she and her team were forced to leave the facility they were training at when the Malaysian government put the country under a movement control order.
Looking for a new spot to resume their preparations was a challenge in itself as well, as it delayed Diaz’s training for a couple of weeks.
“Hindi kami naka-training ng two weeks,” she said.
“’Pag hindi ako makapag-training ng maximum three days, parang back-to-zero ‘yung strength ko.”
Fortunately, though, Diaz was able to rent weightlifting equipment such as barbells, which she discovered on social media network Instagram.
“Buti na lang may nakita ako sa IG na nagbebenta ng mga barbells. [Tinanong ko] kung pwede maghiram na lang or mag-rent na lang hanggang matapos itong MCO,” the 28-year-old said, as she and her team are currently in an AirBNB.
“So ngayon, dito kami nagte-training. Dito nagte-training ng weightlifting.”
It was tough, indeed, but the three-time Olympian from Zamboanga City is just grateful that she was able to overcome that stretch.
“Grateful ako na na-survive, grateful ako na natapos na ‘yung three months,” Diaz said.
“Grateful ako na nandito ako ngayon, shine-share ko ‘yung experience ko.”
Most importantly, Diaz has accepted the fact that some things are beyond her control — like this pandemic.
So now, the Air Force sergeant’s focus is on doing the best that she can, so she’ll be ready whenever the qualifying tournaments resume.
“Natanggap ko na na hindi natin control ito eh. Hindi natin alam kung hanggang kailan ito,” said Diaz.
“So ‘yung sa’kin lang, as an athlete, kailangan kong gawin ‘yung kailangan kong gawin: mag-training.”