Sun. May 22nd, 2022


Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first Olympic gold medalist, receives her Athlete of the Year award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association during the 2022 SMC-PSA Awards night on Monday at Diamond Hotel. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS/ ANDY SANTOS

Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first Olympic gold medalist, receives her Athlete of the Year award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association during the 2022 SMC-PSA Awards night on Monday at Diamond Hotel. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ ANDY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines—Dreams do come true. Hidilyn Diaz could attest to it.

Diaz had only dreamed of being at the Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards Night before.

On Monday, Diaz recalled that moment after receiving her third Athlete of the Year award at the PSA Awards Night at Diamond Hotel.

“Naaala ko noon pangarap ko lang na makapunta dito sa PSA Awards. Nakikita ko sina Ate Marestella Torres (long jumper and former PSA Athlete of the Year Awardee). Little did I know, pangatlo ko na ngayon. Wala talagang impossible ‘no?” Diaz said during her speech.

(It was only a dream of mine to be at the PSA Awards. I remember seeing Marestella Torres. Little did It know, I will win my third Athlete of the Year award. Nothing is really impossible.)

Diaz was named Athlete of the Year for delivering the Philippines’ breakthrough Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Games last year.

Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first Olympic gold medalist, receives her Athlete of the Year award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association during the 2022 SMC-PSA Awards night on Monday at Diamond Hotel. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS/ ANDY SANTOS

Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first Olympic gold medalist, receives her Athlete of the Year award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association during the 2022 SMC-PSA Awards night on Monday at Diamond Hotel. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ ANDY SANTOS

The 31-year-old Diaz’s humble beginnings as an aspiring weightlifter led to a realization that anything is possible.

“Ibig sabihin lang ito na walang imposible at kaya nating mga Pilipino na manalo ulit ng ginto sa Olympics. Kung nagawa ko, kaya ng iba pang Filipino athletes,” stressed Diaz, who finally won the gold in her fourth Olympic stint.

(This just means that nothing is impossible and Filipinos are capable of winning the gold medal in the Olympics again. If I can do it, so can other Filipino athletes.)

“Sabi nila dati napakataas kong mangarap. Bakit hindi?. Isa kaya na magandang bagay na libreng gawin ang mangarap. Kaya kung ikaw at tayong lahat patuloy lang mangarap.”

(They said before that I have such high ambitions. Why not? One of the best things to do that are free is to dream.)

The pride of Zamboanga City also won Athlete of the Year in 2017 for her silver medal feat in the Rio Olympics and again in 2019 for delivering the gold in the Asian Games.

“Hindi pwedeng walang pagsubok kasi yon ang nagpapatibay sa atin. Okay lang ilang beses magkamali, ilang beses na matalo. Ang  mahalaga ay natututo tayo at makabangon. Kayang-kaya natin ito na mas marami pang Pilipino na mananalo sa Olympics at makakuha ng ginto,” she said.

(There will always be challenges because these are what make us tougher. It doesn’t matter how many mistakes you make and how many times you lose. What’s important is we learn to rise again. We can do it that more Filipinos will win in the Olympics and get the gold.)

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