Hidilyn Diaz came from a poor family. Before she started lifting weights, she was carting five-gallon jugs of water to and from her village home. Now, she is one of the Filipino athletes who will be competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and many are hoping that she will bring home the country's first ever gold medal.
In an interview, the 17-year-old athlete says that she will do her best in the competition. Hidilyn Diaz hails from a poor coastal village in Zamboanga. She is the daughter of a tricycle driver has six siblings. She narrates that her "water training" came as a necessity because her home had no running tap water. That was her morning ritual - hauling two five-gallon containers of water for her family's needs.
At age 11, she discovered the colorful barbell discs at a weightlifting gym in Zamboanga that was run by one of her male cousins, which incidentally, was a former national champion.
She narrates, "I got curious so I began lifting." And so that started her career as a weightlifter and achieved a top-three finish at the last Southeast Asian Games.
Ever since, she's been busy training and improving her strength, stamina and endurance. She is expected to compete with Yue Hongmei, a double world champion. Although the favors are on China's bet, the Philippine Olympic delegation head, Mr. Monico Puentavella, says that he is excited because she is the country's first lifter in 20 years and expects her to do better through the years and reach her full potential come 2012 London Olympics.
Let's all pray for her and the rest of the Philippine Olympic delegation. May they all do their best and make their country proud. Mabuhay kay Hidilyn Diaz!