Hidilyn Diaz admitted disappointment with the postponement of the Olympic Games due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has tuned the world topsy-turvy.
The International Olympic Committee and Japan earlier this week decided to postpone the Tokyo Games to not later than the summer of 2021 given the current situation.
“I can’t deny the fact I am disappointed with the postponement of Tokyo 2020, and I left everything on hold in preparation for the Olympics,” three-time Olympian Diaz wrote on Instagram.
Diaz was on pace to qualify for the Games following her dominant showing in the 2020 Roma Weightlifting World Cup in Italy last January, where she bagged three gold medals.
The event, which saw Diaz sweep the women’s 55-kilogram division, served as an Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist then looked to strengthen her bid of making her fourth straight Olympic appearance by taking part in the Ibero-American Open in Cali, Colombia.
But, it was also postponed due to the pandemic. It would have been the last International Weightlifting Federation-sanctioned meet she had to join in order to qualify for the Games.
As disappointed as she feels, however, Diaz understands that the safety of all is of utmost importance.
“We are talking about the safety and health of all the athletes, their coaches, and their teams that will be participating in the Olympics,” said the 29-year-old from Zamboanga.
The Philippine Air Force personnel added that she could not be selfish knowing that there are people putting their lives at risk and doing their part in the combat against the deadly virus.
“I cannot be selfish thinking of all the sacrifices I have done in the preparation for the Olympics without thinking of the frontliners risking their lives to save people who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Diaz also looked at the positive side of this situation. The postponement of the Games — for the very first time in its rich history — will give her another year to prepare.
“On the positive note, I’m kinda relieved not to worry that I can’t hold the barbell and do heavy weights for the last couple of days because of quarantine and have one more year to prepare for Olympics,” she quipped.
Diaz also expressed her belief that this is a challenge that everyone will overcome soon.
“One thing I know is that to me and Team HD, giving up was never in our vocabulary. We are almost there and we can make it through.”