Filipino personalities sing praises for Hidilyn Diaz after historic Olympic gold

·Contributor
·4 min read
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 26: Hidilyn Diaz of Philippines cries after winning the Women's 55kg Weightlifting Group A match on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by An Lingjun/CHINASPORTS/VCG via Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 26: Hidilyn Diaz of Philippines cries after winning the Women's 55kg Weightlifting Group A match on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by An Lingjun/CHINASPORTS/VCG via Getty Images)

Hidilyn Diaz gave the Philippines its first Olympic gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Games on Monday (July 26).

Diaz, who lifted an Olympic record of 127 kilograms to defeat world champion and rival Liao Qiuyun of China, immortalized herself in the annals of sports history. But more than anything, she gave a beleaguered nation hope in a time of despair.

It should come as no surprise that her triumphant victory has become a momentous event for millions of Filipinos who took social media to celebrate the achievement of Diaz.

Leading the celebration were Diaz's fellow sporting personalities who expressed their joy and showered her with gratitude for making the Olympic dream a reality.

The lone eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who is hard at work while preparing for his bout against Errol Spence Jr., saluted the Filipina weightlifter.

Filipino mixed martial arts icon Eduard "The Landslide" Folayang, who is a good friend of Diaz, also shared a heartfelt message in reaction to the historical gold medal conquest.

Basketball stalwarts Thirdy Ravena and Kai Sotto thanked Diaz for being an inspiration.

A mixed bag of reactions from PBA stars in Gabe Norwood, LA Tenorio and Junemar Fajardo, among many others, came in the way of Diaz as well. 

PBA stars Gabe Norwood, LA Tenorio and Junemar Fajardo congratulated Hidilyn Diaz. (Photo: Screenshot from Instagram)
PBA stars Gabe Norwood, LA Tenorio and Junemar Fajardo congratulated Hidilyn Diaz. (Photo: Screenshot from Instagram)

Renowned sports couple Kiefer Ravena and Alyssa Valdez could not rein in their emotions following Diaz's win.

With social distancing measures in place, the rest of the athlete inside the Olympic village could not rush towards Diaz and rejoice as one, but they made sure to bombard her with love online.

Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial, who has yet to start his campaign in the Tokyo Games, posted a congratulatory photo on his account.

Pole vaulter EJ Obiena and skateboarder Margielyn Didal poured out their emotions on social media as well. 

EJ Obiena and Margielyn Didal congratulated Hidilyn Diaz. (Photo: Screenshot from Instagram)
EJ Obiena and Margielyn Didal congratulated Hidilyn Diaz. (Photo: Screenshot from Instagram)

Government officials spearheaded by Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo also became a part of a long chorus of Filipinos in singing praises of the Filipina trailblazer.

Meanwhile, Senate President and Philippine Bowling Federation chairman Vicente "Tito" Sotto III relished hearing the national anthem in the Olympiad for the first time while expressing his gratitude to Diaz.

The brightest stars of the entertainment industry joined the fray as well. 

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, who has also represented the flag and country in several pageants across the globe, applauded Diaz's efforts.

For her part, multi-awarded singer and actress Lea Salonga, the voice behind 'We Win As One' — the official theme song of the 2019 SEA Games, basked in the glorious moment of Diaz.

Angel Locsin, a famed actress and activist, shared a congratulatory photo on her Instagram account, putting an emphasis on Diaz's contribution to women empowerment.

The golden girl of Philippine sports truly made a mark in the hearts of every Filipino, so do expect that this will not be the only time we will celebrate her success in the biggest sports spectacle in the world.

Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.

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