Filipino sports icon Hidilyn Diaz knows in mind and in heart that she’s on the cusp of finally bringing home the most elusive gold medal in the Olympics.
And the 2016 Rio silver medalist plans to make it a reality come the Tokyo Games in late July, in what could be her final stint in the quadrennial event.
“Alam ko rin as an athlete na malapit na ako, malapit na talaga akong manalo,” said Diaz in episode 2 of Let’s Go HD!, a four-part documentary by Kick-Start Coffee Brewed Awakening.
“Malapit na sa gold so there’s no reason to give up.”
Fortunately, she is not alone in this journey as Team HD is always behind her.
Her team is composed of weightlifting coach Kaiwen Gao; assistant/strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo; sports nutritionist Jeaneth Aro; and sports psychologist Karen Trinidad.
Diaz and her team have been locked down and training in Malaysia for over a year now, a huge sacrifice away from their families.
“It’s really important to have people behind me during this preparation to Tokyo,” the Philippine Air Force sergeant shared in the docu with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to her journey to Tokyo.
“Kasi kung gagawin ko lahat ng trabaho ng coach, sports nutritionist, sports psychologists, baka maubos ang time ko sa research pa lang.”
But more than winning the most prestigious medal in the Summer Games, Diaz is aware that having that hardware equates to influence.
That more than a medalist, she has become an instant icon the young Filipino athletes look up to.
The Zamboanga City native already knows the feeling, having been a respectable voice in the sports industry of the country since winning silver five years ago.
“After winning silver in the Olympics, akala ko medal lang eh. Okay na ako nanalo na ako ng medal, ito na yung biggest dream,” bared the 30-year-old four-time Olympian.
“Pero na-realize ko na Olympic medal is not just a medal. It’s a platform as well and responsibility to the young generation to be a good role model.”