Olympic weightlifting gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz urged Filipino youth on Friday, September 10 to register to vote in the 2022 elections.
At a press conference after receiving the honorific as adopted daughter of Negros Occidental province, Diaz said she would not endorse any candidate because she is part of the military.
“‘But, please, choose candidates with values, who will uphold those values. They will guide the people, so choose wisely,” she said.
Negros Occidental provincial administrator Rayfrando Diaz, Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella, and former Governor Rafael Coscolluela awarded Diaz with a plaque from the province.
In accepting the honor, Diaz urged parents to support the dreams of their athletic children.
“It starts with parents,” she said in Filipino.
“At first my mother didn’t like me lifting weights but when she saw how I enjoyed it, she supported me,” she added.
“Sports has no gender,” Diaz stressed. “This is the result,” she said, raising her gold medal.
“We can all excel, men and women.”
She also urged local government units to support grassroots sports programs, calling these “essential to nation-building.”
The Olympic champion said she almost gave up during the 19 months she and her team were stranded in Malaysia by the pandemic.
She thanked private and government supporters, including Puentevella, for supporting her at a time of need.
“I don't see myself as extraordinary,” Diaz said. “Pero nakilala ko lang ang plano ni God sa akin. Ginamit ko ang binigay niya sa akin.” (I recognized God’s plan for me and I used what he gave me.)
Her faith in God, she added, gave her faith in self.
“I do my best in training and in the competition. But I do not control everything and I lift it up to God.” – Rappler.com