Olympic champion Hidilyn Diaz took the higher road and chose to forgive the critics and bashers when she pleaded for support in public in 2019.
Looking back, Diaz stood firm and said she has no regrets with the decision to share a post asking for sponsorship from private companies in the hopes of bolstering her Tokyo Olympics campaign.
Two years later, the 30-year-old Zamboanga native weightlifter pulled through and did not disappoint after claiming the country’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, Japan.
“Para sa akin, hindi ako nagsisisi. Wala akong pagsisising nararamdaman kasi as an athlete we need support, we really need support,” said Diaz in an interview with Karen Davila on ANC’s Hot Copy Thursday, July 29. “Siyempre gusto ko manalo ng gold medal sa Olympics, kailangan maghanap akong paraan para makamit ito so lumabas lang ako sa comfort zone, naging courage zone ko ‘yon.”
Diaz also clarified that the past misunderstandings with the Philippine Sports Commission, headed by chairman Butch Ramirez, has since been cleared.
She clarified that the PSC delivered in providing support especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when the famed Team HD (Hidilyn Diaz) got holed up in Malaysia and proceeded to train there.
The Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation also played a huge role and stepped up for Diaz’s Malaysia training camp.
Diaz, a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Games, added that she respected and understood the position PSC was in amid these trying times.
“Siguro iba lang ‘yong pag-response ng PSC, hindi lang siguro naintindihan ‘yong time na ‘yon pero alam naman natin ang dami rin kasi nilang hawak na sports,” added the 2018 Asian Games gold medalist. “At yes, ‘yong budget ay limited din so siyempre as an individual na may pangarap para sa Pilipinas, gusto ko makamit ito. Baka puwede ko ‘tong makamit — makamit ang gold medal with the help of private sponsors also with the help din ng PSC. Pero alam naman natin na limited ang funding.”
“Makamit natin ito (gold medal) kung lahat tayo tulong-tulong. Siyempre ‘yong time na ‘yon siguro ‘di nila naintindihan ang side ko kaya siguro ganoon. Ngayon siguro naintindihan nila na it takes a lot of people para makuha ang gold medal sa Olmypics.
That said, Diaz stressed that this will serve as a lesson not only for herself but also to the government and the Filipino people.
As for her critics, the multi-medalist weightlifter said their words won’t determine her worth and value as a person especially now that she brought golden glory to the Philippines.
“Napatawad ko na sila (critics) kasi na-realize ko na, sabi ko nga kanina, lahat ng trials and challenges ginawa akong malakas. Malakas ‘yong puso, malakas ‘yong katawan ko dahil sa mga challenges na ‘yon tapos ‘yong faith ko kay God ‘yong time na ‘yon,” she added. “Alam kong masakit, sobrang sakit noong time na ‘yon pero I choose to forgive.”