Hidilyn Diaz's Olympic win is a testament of Filipino women's strength and spirit

Published July 27, 2021, 12:29 PM

by John Legaspi

Artists and empowered Filipino women celebrate the victory of the Pinay weightlifter

An Olympics history has been made for the Philippines as weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz snagged not just one but two gold medals on July 26, 2021, a first in the 97 years of the country joining the highly-prestigious games. And there is no better way to describe it but as a truly beautiful, joyous, and proud moment for her and for the nation.
Hidilyn Diaz (Photo by Noe Pabalate, art by Ariana Maralit)
After she snatched a silver medal win in the 2016 Olympics, Hidilyn has been an inspiration to many, not only to her fellow athletes but also to Filipino women. While she is among the many dubbed as the country’s pride, the athlete is never exempted from controversies, from her seeing funds for her sporting career to being falsely linked to the “Oust Duterte” matrix.
But her historic Olympic victory proves Hidilyn’s strength, passion, and love for the country. The focus in her eyes, her triumphant scream, and her winning smile triggered an outburst of emotions that shook the whole country. Seeing International Olympic Committee executive board member and Filipina equestrian Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski giving her the gold medal, with the Philippine National Anthem playing in the background as the nation’s flag was rising, was among the special moments when one could truly be proud of being a Filipino.
To celebrate her win, empowered Filipino women expressed how proud they were that a woman was the first to gift the country its much-awaited Olympic gold. In their posts, actresses Angel Aquino and Iza Calzado highlighted the athlete’s passion and dedication.
“You lifted our spirit when you lifted that weight,” Angel says. “We cried with you, we sang ‘Lupang Hinirang‘ with you, but as you were doing your salutation to our flag, we were all in salutation to you.”
“A strong woman who has endured so much to represent our country well and make us proud,” Iza muses. “Mabuti kang tao at napakasipag at tiyaga mo, ikaw ay pinagpala (You are a kind and hardworking person, you are blessed).”
News anchor Karen Davila and Gabriela Philippines described Hidilyn as a symbol of pride and bravery.
“Thank you Hidilyn Diaz for being the inspiration we all need this time,” Karen says. “Hidilyn shows us that you can beat China at their game without having to go to war. Mabuhay ka!
“Thank you for showing strength and courage despite being mocked as a woman athlete and red-tagged by the Duterte government for standing up against the lack of government support for Filipino athletes,” the partylist posts.
Filipino artists also paid tribute to the champion weightlifter and immortalized her winning moment through various artworks. Here are some of the illustration that best captured Hidilyn’s golden moment.
Artwork by @ikeindo.op
Artwork by @bastinuod
Artwork by @sentimentalsediments
Artwork by @huevhaudinie
Artwork by @lydia_ortiz
Thank you for making us proud, Hidilyn!