So here’s how July 26, 2021... went for us Filipinos.
President Rodrigo Duterte just concluded his last State of the Nation speech. I never saw it… but I heard that it was pretty lengthy. At the moment, the world is bracing the hell imposed by the pandemic… as well as its freaky variants. The entire country is drenched with rain and basically, work from home is messing up with a lot of people’s psyches to the point that the way for a person to interact with another person is by standing up… and paying the driver for the thing that they ordered online.
Hidilyn Diaz “carried” the Philippines out of the Olympic gutter when she became the first Filipino to score a gold medal.
Macho men bawled at the sight of the Philippine flag lording over the Chinese flag. Sure, Pinoys hate Korea in the realm of basketball but the Chinese are Olympic superpowers. Chinese people are evil geniuses with regard to athletic prowess. Basically, they engineer their kids to do well in their field. I mean, while yeah… China has been pretty creepy these past few years because of the territorial disputes and uber economy, I am not going to go political in this thread. They are like robots… designed to clean out the medals in every non-team sport imaginable.
I mean at the moment, they are going toe-to-toe with host country Japan and superpowers the United States and the Russian group (that can’t be referred to as Russians).
And, yeah. Usually… or most of the time, we see our Philippine flag tucked in some Olympic closet for events that we are too small, too poor, or too brave to try but we still do it because we are thought in school that if we could dream it, then we can do it.
With that said, the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (or 2020 if we want to be legal about its name) is a different animal.
Apart from the earth-scale catastrophe created by the pandemic, it seems as if this is the best chance for the Philippines to claim gold with Diaz and Carlos Yulo on board. Both athletes imposed their will leading to the Olympics.
And at least I thought, their pre-Olympic achievements could break down the crappy century-long problem of politics.
Yulo is competing for flag and honor at a sport the Philippines rarely compete in. Look, he may have had a disappointing floor exercise run but there are also judges involved in this fight. I am not throwing shade on the judges but his performance could have ranked a bit higher if he participated for a different country.
The same can’t be said with Hidilyn. The judges are there to check the moves which are seen on video. The only way a player could lose his or her gold medal in this sport is if the weights were faulty, or if some dude spiked another person’s drink, or yeah… performance enhancers in the system. Weightlifting is a sport in which players could lift the heaviest. It’s an ancient discipline meant to test a person’s strength and it’s as old school as running like hell, swimming like crazy, and even jumping and throwing at things.
She is also a comeback participant with a silver medal as proof.
Basically, she had everything covered.
You need to check out the brilliance of the moment. The Chinese weightlifter refused to go down in defeat which is why Liao Qiuyun did a crunch time move and went for 126kg.
Diaz would then try to beat the Chinese in her own game by calling for 127kg – a number she has yet to pull and a number no one in her 55kg weight class has yet to achieve. Again, a boss move during clutch – with high risk and high reward tag. Seeing her lifting the barbell with all her might and then when she had it up in the air… unveil her emotions… is just insane.
I bet in that very moment, Hidilyn knows that she made history.
Screaming at everyone is just the icing on the cake.
And for a lot of folks, hearing the Philippine National Anthem in the grandest of stages is just a thing that we should be thankful for.
ADMIT IT, THREE YEARS FROM NOW... YOU ARE STILL CRYING!!!
(Unless Youtube flags this video.)
For her part, she’s now set for life. I don’t know if the 50 million or more incentive could force her to retirement but for all the hardships she endured and for the glory she gave the country, no one should ever fault her.
The last time she brought honor to the country, she became an Alaska endorser and an Avon model.
Now, the sky is the limit for our first Pinoy gold medalist.
I bet Lazada is going insane to sign her... with Smart and Globe preying on her status.
Duterte in some ways should really thank her because she won her silver medal in August 2016 and got her gold in July 2021.
Thanks to her, Duterte is the only Philippine president to have an Olympic gold medal and an Olympic silver medal during his time in office.
Don’t hurt me… I’m just stating facts.
Gilas Pilipinas played in the FIBA World Cup for the first time in 40 years in 2014!!!
Here’s the best thing that happened because of Hidilyn Diaz’s accomplishment is that we are not at the bottom of the all-time Olympic medal tally anymore. Right now, we are now at the 80s in terms of world rank. It’s a huge climb from the 100 to 120 range. Prior to Diaz’s win, the Philippines leads every country of Olympic participation without a single gold medal. Non-countries like the Unified Team and Australasia have more gold medals than us. There is an Olympic contingent literally called “Mixed Team” and they have more gold medals than us. Territories like Chinese-Taipei (well, at least according to China) and Hong Kong have multiple sets of gold medals.
Our first gold medal is a step in the right direction.
Perhaps this is the right time for the NCAA and the UAAP and even corporate entities inclined to help Philippine sports by creating some sort of pro league for these kinds of disciplines. If you check out the weightlifting stage, it’s similar to a typical Eat Bulaga, Showtime, or Wowowin setup… without the blinding lights. This is a sport a network could sell and it would also help our sports development program.
Yeah, Hidilyn Diaz’s gold medal victory opened a lot of opportunities for the Filipinos but it’s our government’s decision on whether or not they would continue our rise to the top.