The Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist comes back home.
Weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz is set to return to the country on Wednesday, July 28, two days after she made history when she ruled the women’s 55kg division in the Tokyo Games.
Although it is mandatory, Philippine Olympic Committee Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said Diaz longs to be with her family soon after being away from them due to her Olympic buildup.
Diaz and her team spent the past year in Malaysia to gear up for her fourth straight Olympic stint.
“Hidilyn wants to be with her family who she hasn’t seen for more than one and a half years now,” Tolentino said in a press release.
Unlike past Olympics, athletes, sports officials, and even the media are required to leave Japan within 48 hours of completing their events and task as part of the Tokyo Games’ strict protocols.
Team Hidilyn Diaz, also composed of head coach Gao Kaiwen, strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo, nutritionist Jeaneth Aro, and sports psychologist Karen Trinidad, will undergo mandatory quarantine once they arrive in the country on board a Philippine Airlines flight.
Once cleared from the coronavirus, they are set for a warm welcome from the Philippine Sports Commission.