Or, if you prefer, 224 kg.
Hidilyn Diaz is worth her weight in gold. Although she weighs a mere 54.9 kg or 121 lb, she lifted 127 kg – more than twice her own weight — to win the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal in nearly a century. Cheers! Mabuhay!
Does her twin feat – earning the prize and smashing the Olympic record in the clean-and-jerk category – make her a superwoman? This petite lady who’s one inch short of 5 ft (or 1.8 meters) is bigger than a champion, she’s a super Filipino. Her total score of lifting 224 kg bested China’s bet and silver medalist, who was one kilo behind her.
Apart from the golden, priceless accolades, Hidilyn will receive P35.5 million in cash plus a house in Tagaytay from Bambol Tolentino and a condo in Andrew Tan’s Eastwood. With more to come in a storm of rewards, not the least a promotion in the Air Force, where she is currently a sergeant.
Not that she has no other shiny treasures in her collection, because she has golds and silvers from previous contests, and now her sights are set on the Paris Olympics in 2024 or 2025.
In the meantime, what a pleasant relief to not be reminded that the election season with its torrents of propaganda, p.r. tricks, and thinly disguised pre-positioning devices and strategies are here. News of Hidilyn’s victory in Tokyo reached Manila last Monday night, just one hour and 30 minutes after President Duterte had closed his sixth and last SONA at 7 p.m. All night long and up to the next day, the name Hidilyn was on everyone’s tongue, everyone’s TV and other screens. Except for amateur and professional politicians grading PRRD’s speech according to its usefulness and relatability, the only news that mattered was what Hidilyn had accomplished and how she was now a household word. Vote for Hidilyn for the next Olympics! Give her all the uplifting support she will need and want, and more!
Sure to be a positive side effect of her performance is that more girls will now look at weightlifting as a sport for women. Who knows, a new generation of baby girls will be named Hidilyn (or its variants).