During the wee hours of August 8, 2016, Hidilyn Diaz made headlines for all the best reasons as she put an end to the 20-year medal drought of the Philippines in the Summer Olympics.
She nabbed the silver medal in the women’s 53-kg weightlifting division in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Five years later, the Zamboanga City native is set for her fourth stint in the Summer Games.
And with it comes a lot of pressure to take it even higher and bring home the Philippines’ first-ever gold.
“‘Yung pressure sobrang taas.
“‘Yung expectation sobrang taas kasi siyempre, nanalo ako ng silver medal. So everyone expects me to win the gold in Tokyo,” said Diaz on Let’s Go HD!, a four-part documentary by Kick-Start Coffee Brewed Awakening.
But before her momentous 2016 run in Brazil, nobody expected Diaz to even grab at least a bronze in 2016.
Now, that has changed completely.
“Aaminin ko nung 2016, walang nakakaalam na may chance akong manalo ng silver medal or any medal sa Olympics. Pero ngayon, lahat parang ‘Gold ha?’ ‘Gold ha?’,” shared the Philippine Air Force sergeant.
“So everytime na naririnig ko ‘yung gold parang, ‘Ano ba yan? Gold agad?’ Di ba?”
However, as a true champion, Diaz will not fold under the expectations set upon her.
Instead, she will take all the pressure as a motivation to finally strike gold for her country.
“Ako, kinakabahan talaga ako na every time maririnig ko ‘yung gold,” bared Diaz.
“Pero ngayon naisip ko na kailangan kong i-embrace na ito ‘yung destiny ko. Kailangan kong i-claim para manalo ako.”