Olympics medals are the highest achievement for any athlete or any country. The Philippines had not won a Gold medal since its participation in 1924.
The 2020 Olympics was remarkable for the Philippines and Filipinos. It was when they received their first gold medal after 96 years.
Hidilyn Diaz, the weightlifter, was the first gold Olympic medalist of the Philippines.
Diaz made her Olympic debut in 2008. After two consecutive fails to win any medal, Diaz won a silver medal at Olympic 2016.
This was the Philippines Olympic medal after 20 years. Moreover, she was the first female Olympic medalist.
In this article, we will talk about the story of Hidilyn Diaz, who went on lifting water jars to dumbbells in the Olympics.
But, let’s take a glance at her quick facts.
|Full name||Hidilyn Francisco Diaz|
|Age||31 years old|
|Birth Date||February 20, 1991|
|Birthplace||Zamboanga City, Philippines|
|Weight||55 (121 lb)|
|Eye Color||Dark brown|
|Education||Computer science (Drop out), Business management ( Running)|
|University||Universidad de Zamboanga, De La Salle-College|
|Title||First Filipino to win Olympic gold|
|Olympic Medals||1; Gold medal and 1; Silver Medal|
|Other medals||3; Gold medals, 4; Silver medals and 5 Bronze medals|
|Coach||Julius Naranjo, Gao Kaiwen|
|Military Rank||Staff Seargent|
|Net Worth||$1.5 million|
|Merch||Weightlifting Shoes, Weightlifting Equipment|
|Last Update||July, 2022|
Hidilyn Diaz: Who is she?
Olympic weightlifter and airwoman from the Philippines named Hidilyn Francisco Diaz. She is best known for being the first Filipino to represent her nation and win an Olympic gold medal.
She also holds the women’s 55 kg weightlifting Olympic record for the highest lift.
Diaz has also received numerous accolades for weightlifting on a global scale. She currently holds two Olympic medals—a gold and a silver—in her collection. And She acquired them at the Olympics of 2020 and 2016, respectively.
She has three gold medals from the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, and Asian Championships. Additionally, Diaz has five bronze medals and four silver medals from international competitions.
Hidilyn Diaz’s Early Years
On February 20, 1991, Hidilyn Diaz was born in the Philippine village of Zamboanga City. Six children were born to her mother Emeliata Diaz and father Eduardo.
Hidilyn was the family’s youngest child. Her family had to deal with financial difficulties.
His father kept changing jobs in search of better opportunities to provide for the large family. His father was a tricycle driver who later made the transition to fishing.
Diaz used to assist his father with the market fish sales. In order to lift her family out of poverty, she wanted to work in banking.
Education of Hidilyn Diaz
About Hidilyn Diaz’s elementary and high school education, not much is known. However, it is known that she enrolled at the Universidad de Zamboanga to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Diaz, however, left school after her third year. She thought she didn’t want to go into that profession.
She began to place more importance on her Olympic preparation than on getting a college diploma. However, Diaz decided to carry on with her education after being awarded a scholarship in 2016.
Diaz received a scholarship to attend De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde to study business management. In January 2017, she first enrolled in the classes.
Diaz, however, took a leave of absence from school in 2019 to concentrate on her Olympic training. When the Summer Olympics were moved to July 2021, Diaz re-enrolled in online classes in 2020.
Career in Weightlifting for Hidilyn Diaz
She started weightlifting how?
Diaz originally intended to work in banking. But after being introduced to sports by her cousin, she discovered her true calling.
Diaz dabbled in basketball, volleyball, and badminton before discovering weightlifting as her true sport. She began weight training when she was 11 years old, practicing with water jars and a homemade concrete barbell. Slowly, Diaz began to triumph in weightlifting contests held at her school, and the rest is history.
making their Olympic debut at the 2008 Summer Games. Hidilyn Diaz was chosen for the summer games and competed in her first Olympics in 2008.
She is the sixth-best weightlifter in the Philippines overall and the first female Olympic weightlifter from that nation. She did not, however, do well in the competition. Diaz came in at number two last out of a total of 12 weightlifters. Her effort was praised, though, and was thought to be promising for her age.
2012 Summer Olympics
Diaz was also chosen to take part in the London Olympics in 2012. She was the first weightlifter from the Philippines to compete in two consecutive Olympic Games.
Hidilyn, however, was unable to perform well at the Olympics. Diaz was one of the two contestants who ultimately failed to place.
The 2016 Summer Olympics’ inaugural Olympic medal
In 2016, Diaz participated in her third straight Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Diaz reduced her weight from 58 kg to 53 kg in order to increase her chances of winning the medal. She competed in the women’s 53 kg weightlifting division.
At the very least, she was hoping for a bronze medal. To everyone’s surprise, Diaz beat her own personal goal and won the silver medal at the competition.
Since 2000, the Philippines had not won a medal at the Summer Olympics. Additionally, this was the nation’s first non-boxing medal since 1936.
She became the first weightlifter from the Philippines to compete in three consecutive Olympics. She is the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal in addition to this.
The 2018 Asian Games’ first gold
Diaz participated in the women’s 53 kg competition at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
She came in first place with a total lift of 207 kg. Diaz consequently earned her first gold medal in weightlifting. Additionally, it was the Philippines’ first gold in that competition. the first Olympic gold medal game at the 2020 Games
The Olympics was Diaz’s fourth appearance. She made history by winning the first gold medal for the Philippines.
The achievements Diaz made at the 2020 Summer Olympics were particularly impressive. She was unable to properly train as a result of Covid limitations and lockdowns.
In addition, Hidilyn experienced a mental collapse. She was unable to train as planned and was unsure of her ability to compete in the Olympics.
While the pandemic was going on, there were no gyms open. Diaz thus practiced weight lifting with water jars and bamboo sticks.
Her victory at the Olympics was the result of her tenacity and diligence. Read Zhou Lulu’s biography: weightlifting, the Olympics, and family here.
Hidilyn Diaz | Career in the Military
Hidilyn Diaz applied for the Direct Enlistment Program for the military branch in 2013 and was chosen for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Additionally, she received an Air Force Specialty Code for recreational weightlifting. She received a promotion to Airwoman Second Class in 2014.
For organizing PAF activities, Diaz was also awarded a Military Merit Medal and a Presidential Citation Unit Badge.
She was temporarily assigned to the PAF Personnel Management Center as she got ready to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
She received a promotion to Staff Sergeant from the PAF in recognition of her outstanding Olympic performances.
Laureates and Honors
Hidilyn Diaz was the first Filipino to return with an Olympic gold medal for her country. In addition, the Philippines Sportswriters Association recognized her as Athlete of the Year in 2017.
Additionally, Diaz received recognition from the Philippine government in 2016 and 2021 for her contributions to the country’s weightlifting.
Julius Naranjo, the boyfriend of Hidilyn Diaz
Hidilyn Diaz and her coach Julius Naranjo are engaged. Both of them had been seeing each other for a while. With the gold ring that was modeled after a dumbbell, Julius proposed to Hidilyn, and she enthusiastically accepted!
At the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017, their love story first started. They were both taking part at the time.
Born in Guam, Julius is half Filipino and half Japanese. In the 62 kg division, Julius was competing on behalf of his native Guam.
At first glance, there was love. She had sparked Julius’s romantic interest. He was unaware of her prominence in the Philippines, though.
Her tenacity and attitude of never giving up drew Julius in. Diaz, however, was uninterested in him. In the competition, the two Filipino competitors grew closer over time. Finally, they started dating after falling in love. Julius lost his career but found the love of his life. Julius assumed that he had severe back pain after the competition.
His backbone had a crack, the doctor discovered. He advised him not to continue weightlifting because of this. Julius needed a doctor’s okay to keep up his weightlifting. His career was over as a result.
He was no longer able to lift weights, so he changed to coaching instead. He later relocated to the Philippines where he took on the role of Hidilyn Diaz’s coach.
Finally, Julius was selected to lead the Olympic Core team as Hidilyn’s coach. The pair brought the Philippines their first gold medal, making them one of the most well-known couples ever. The couples are excited to get married because they triumphed in both weightlifting and love.
Hidilyn Diaz | Enterprise
Diaz established HD Cleaning Services PH as her company name. It’s a home solutions company. Then, in 2019, she founded Komida Foods in collaboration with Chef Allan Jose. The Chef had even made her meal while she was competing in the Olympics.
She founded Komida in order to offer everyone wholesome food at an affordable price. This brand, though, primarily targets athletes and fitness fans.
Hidilyn Diaz: Salary
The wealthiest weightlifter in the Philippines is Diaz. Her net worth is thought to be $1.5 million. Her business, endorsement deals, and Olympic victories are the source of everything.
Following her historic Olympic victory, Diaz was awarded 33 million pesos, or $650,103. The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Filipino businesspeople gave the money to her.
Additionally, the winner of the gold medal at the Olympics in the Philippines receives 10 million pesos, or $197,000.
The Philippine government’s sports agency awards them. Diaz also makes a good living from the endorsement. She was also introduced as the BDO Unibank brand ambassador.
on social media
Diaz maintains a presence on Instagram. Her rehearsals, romantic photos, and family events are all posted there.
She also communicates with her followers on Instagram. You can follow her on social media to get a behind-the-scenes look at her Olympic experience.
Instagram: 268k followers
Why did Hidilyn Diaz train for Olympics in Malaysia?
The covid situation and lockdown did the training hard in the Philippines. So, she moved to Malaysia to prepare for her win in Olympics 2020.
Who funded Hidilyn Diaz’s training in Malaysia?
How much did Hidilyn Diaz lift?
Apart from winning gold at the Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz also set an Olympic record of lifting 224 kilograms in total.
In addition, she lifted the highest weight to the date at women’s 55 kg in Olympics 2020.
You may also like: Jimi Manuwa