To those who have caused her fear and doubt, Hidilyn Diaz decided to forgive them.
Prior to bringing home the country’s historic Olympic gold medal, Diaz was included in a so-called matrix to oust President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019, which caused her to “fear for her life” as she was preparing for her Tokyo 2020 campaign.
Diaz, though, had moved on and thanked Duterte for the Presidential Medal of Merit, the P3 million incentive from his office’s funds, and a house and lot in Zamboanga.
“Para sa akin, masaya ako, nagpapasalamat ako kay President Duterte na may virtual call with him. Para sa akin kasi, I forgive them already,” said Diaz on Thursday, July 29 in the Foreign Correspondents of the Philippines (FOCAP) online forum.
(I’m already happy, so I’m just thanking President Duterte for the virtual call with him. For me, I forgive them already.)
But Diaz emphasized that she hopes that no one else will experience the anxiety and pain she went through, as she dealt with the situation.
“Wala na ako nararamdamang sakit pero sana lang hindi iyon mangyayari sa iba kasi hindi lahat kagaya ko na kayang itiis and balewalain ang nangyari. Sa lahat nang nagbash, I forgive them.”
(I don’t feel the pain anymore, but I just hope it doesn’t happen to others because not everyone can endure and move on from what happened. To all those who bashed me, I forgive them.)
Before her Olympic win, Diaz was also called out by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for asking for financial support for her Olympic bid on social media, but they were able to talk things through.
“Naging lesson iyan sa akin and sa PSC na nakita nila ‘di lang sa laban kailangan ang suporta… na kailangan din ng atleta ng support sa preparasyon,” shared the country’s first Olympic gold medalist.
“Naging leksyon iyon sa bawat sports officials and private sponsors. Sana di lang sila magsupport ng may resulta na, dapat before pa.”
(That was a lesson for me and the PSC that athletes should not just be supported during the game itself, but also in their preparation. It’s a lesson for sports officials and private sponsors. They shouldn’t just be supporting the athlete after the results, but even before.)
According to the 30-year-old weightlifter, it was the MVP Sports Foundation who answered her plea during that time.
But all these challenges she faced to win the country’s historic gold medal made her victory sweeter.
“For winning the Olympics, nakita ko yung reason bakit nangyari iyon. ‘Yung pinagdaanan ko, it gives me more strength and courage to still continue sa dream ko,” said Diaz.
(For winning the Olympics, I saw the reason behind the things that had happened. After what I went through, it gives me more strength and courage to still continue on my dream.)
In the Tokyo Olympics, Diaz set a record in her winning lift of 127kg in the clean and jerk and the total of 224kg.
She also became the first Filipina athlete to win double Olympic medals after her 2016 Rio Olympic silver medal conquest.
Swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso is the only multi-medaled Filipino Olympian after winning the bronze in the men’s 200 meter breaststroke in the 1928 Amsterdam and 1932 Los Angeles Games. – Rappler.com