There is a saying that dogs are “a man’s best friend” but for Filipino weightlifting superstar and Rio Olympics veteran Hidilyn Diaz, her dog Hiro is more than a best friend.
For Diaz, she considers the French bulldog a family.
“Very sweet talaga,” said Diaz in a message to Manila Bulletin Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Diaz is still mourning the recent passing of her canine because of kidney failure.
Diaz and “Team HD” of Chinese coach Kaiwen Gao, strength and conditioning mentor Julius Naranjo and massage-therapist Belen Banas are still in Kuala Lumpur since February training in a weightlifting camp.
Some family members and friends took care of Hiro when Diaz left for Malaysia, but because of an illness last December, the dog died recently and the Asian Games gold medalist mourned its unexpected passing.
Diaz posted photos on her Instagram account, like when she celebrated the dog’s birthday.
“Dahil sa pandemic daw walang exercises (kasi) high protein ang pagkain niya. Nagkasakit siya last December pero naging okay naman siya,” said Diaz, who got the dog in early 2018.
“Ang cute pa naman niya. Pero ganun e, mahirap tanggapin. Next time ‘frenchie’ pa rin kunin però dapat may mag-alaga talaga (if I am out of the country) Gusto ko ulit ganun.”
Diaz is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, which has been reset by organizers and International Olympic Committee to July 2021 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
She still needs to compete in an Olympic Qualifying Tournament to complete the required five events, although Diaz is currently at No. 5 in the world ranking of the International Weightlifting Federation.
In the 55kg women’s category, Diaz has 3,717.0982 points behind Chinese weightlifters in Jiang Huihua (4,667.8878), Liao Qiuyun (4,288.9622), Zhang Wangqiong (4,212.6639) and Li Yajun (4,099.0223).