Virus stalls Olympic bid, but Hidilyn Diaz still urges Filipinos to stay positive

Beatrice Go
Virus stalls Olympic bid, but Hidilyn Diaz still urges Filipinos to stay positive


Weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz tries to cheer on Filipinos amid the coronavirus pandemic

MANILA, Philippines – Although uncertainty surrounds Hidilyn Diaz’s Olympics return, the Philippine weightlifting star continues to cheer on everyone amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Diaz continues to train in Malaysia with her team, but she said her heart goes out to the victims and everyone else whose lives have been affected. 

Keep safe po everyone! Lahat po tayo apektado sa COVID-19. Please wash your hands and kahit sabihin kong  ‘don’t panic’, kahit ako nagpapanic na rin ako. Hindi ko alam ano gagawin. But let’s surrender it to God,” said Diaz. 

(Keep safe, everyone! We’re all affected by COVID-19. Please wash your hands and I would like to say ‘don’t panic’, but I’m also panicking. I don’t know what to do. But let’s surrender it to God.) 



Diaz’s Road to Tokyo 2020 was in peril when the host of her last qualifying tournament, Colombia, placed a travel ban on Europe and Asia last Sunday, March 15. 

Though the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist virtually sealed her return to the quadrennial meet with her world ranking in the women’s 55kg event, she needs to complete a total of 6 qualifying events. 

“I’m just asking myself: ‘Olympics, bakit ang hirap nito (Why is this so hard)?’” added Diaz.

She currently ranks No. 5 with 3,717.0982 points behind Chinese weightlifters Jiang Huihua (4,667.8878), Liao Qiuyun (4,288.9622), Zhang Wangqiong (4,212.6639) and Li Yajun (4,099.0223).

But since only one lifter can represent a country per event in the Olympics, Diaz will likely take the No. 2 spot.

Diaz, who can’t return yet to the country due the Luzon lockdown, also understands the community quarantine has been difficult for many Filipinos, particulary the athletes, but encouraged them to keep on training. 

“Always stay positive and be happy, enjoy our quarantine days and still train hard and aim for good things,” said Diaz in her series of Instagram stories.

Trust in God na magagawa natin nang maayos, magagawang maayos itong coronavirus and ma-address na kasi ang dami na naapektuhan. God bless you all.” 

(Trust in God that we can do things right and the coronavirus situation will be solved and addressed since a lot of people have been affected. God bless you all.) 

The Philippines’ confirmed coronavirus cases jump to 193 on Wednesday morning, March 18 with a total of 7 recoveries and 14 deaths. 

Globally, it has infected more than 170,000 people and claimed over 7,000 lives. – Rappler.com 

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.