10 Fast Facts About Hidilyn Diaz

 

Hidilyn who? If you haven’t seen her name splashed all over today’s local news headlines, let us bring you up to speed.

 

Hidilyn Diaz just happens to be the Filipino weightlifter who bagged a silver medal at the ongoing Rio Olympics. She won the medal during the women’s 53kg weightlifting event last Sunday, but that’s not why her feat is so impressive (but hey, anyone who can lift that much deserves a round of applause, yeah?).

 

You see, Hidilyn’s the first athlete to win an Olympic medal for the Philippines in 20 years. That’s TWO WHOLE DECADES since Onyok Velasco won a silver for boxing during the 1996 Atlanta games. Hers is also the country’s first Olympic medal in weightlifting.

 

To celebrate this momentous occasion, let’s have a look at some fast facts about this remarkable Olympian:

 
  1. She’s 25 years old. Hidilyn Diaz was born on 20 February 1991, in Zamboanga City, Philippines.

 
  1. Her height is at 1.54 m or 5 ½ ft. Despite her undeniable strength, Hidilyn is relatively diminutive in size.

 
  1. Diaz is the first Filipina weightlifter to compete in consecutive Olympics. She qualified in the women’s weightlifting under 58 kg in both the Continental and World Qualifying Tournaments.

Diaz is the first Filipina weightlifter to compete in consecutive Olympics 10 Fast Facts About Hidilyn Diaz  
  1. She was also the flagbearer for the Philippine Olympic team during the opening ceremony at the London 2012 Olympics.

 
  1. The 2016 Rio Olympics isn’t her first Olympic event. She made her debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and impressed many of the spectators but did not win a medal. During the 2012 London Olympics, however, she failed on all of her clean and jerk attempts during the weightlifting event.

 
  1. She started competing in the Olympics at the ripe old age of 17. Back in Beijing, she lifted in the 58 kg class and at 56.28 kg, was the lightest among the competitors. She also ended up breaking the Philippine record for weightlifting (which she herself set back in the 2007 Southeast Asian Games) at the event with a 192-kg total.

 
  1. Hidilyn scored a total of 200 when she won the silver at this year’s Olympics. Her clean and jerk stats were at 112, combined with an 88 in snatch. Hsu Shu-Ching of Taiwan won the gold for the event with a total score of 212.

 
  1. Diaz’s silver medal is the first non-boxing medal for the Philippines since 1936.

Diaz   s silver medal is the first non boxing medal for the Philippines since 1936 10 Fast Facts About Hidilyn Diaz  
  1. Her personal weightlifting best is 224 kg. (Meanwhile, I sometimes have trouble lifting my handbag.)

 
  1. Hidilyn is coached by Antonio Agustin, Jr.

 

Diaz’s win at the Olympics is a welcome relief after several of our athletes lost out in their respective sports during the first day. On a much deeper level, however, her story also shows just how temporary failure is, and how far a person (and perhaps even a nation) can go if they move past it and keep on improving themselves.

 
Serena Estrella

Serena joined iRemit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.

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