Diaz’s win in Rio Olympics weightlifting a gift to the Philippines, birthday gift to her mother | mb.com.ph | Philippine News
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Diaz’s win in Rio Olympics weightlifting a gift to the Philippines, birthday gift to her mother

By R.G. Antonet A. Go, Philippines News Agency

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Aug. 8 –- The winning of the silver medal by Zamboangueña weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the Rio Olympics is not only a great gift for the Philippines but to her mother as well.

Photo courtesy of FilipinoConnection.net

Photo courtesy of FilipinoConnection.net

Diaz, 25, bagged the silver medal on Sunday (Brazil time) in the women’s 58-kilogram category hours after her mother, Emelita, celebrated her 53rd birthday.

In Brazil, it is Sunday but already Monday dawn in the Philippines and Emelita’s birthday was on Sunday, August 7 (Philippine time).

“Our family is very proud of her,” Emelita told the Philippines News Agency in an interview on Monday.

Emelita said she had the feeling that Diaz, with the blessing of the Lord, “will win this time” since the schedule of the competition coincided with her birthday.

“I told her that maybe for the third time, you will already win,” Emelita narrated, citing the Rio Olympics is the third Olympic competition Diaz has participated in.

Diaz also competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics held in Beijing and London, respectively.

Emelita said she woke up Monday dawn to watch her daughter and to pray the rosary as well while Diaz was competing with other athletes in the women’s weightlifting.

“While I was praying, I was informed that Hidi (Hidilyn’s nickname) won,” she said.

Hidilyn is the fifth among the six children of Emelita who is a housewife, and Eduardo, a tricycle driver. She has a sister and four brothers.

The family resides in Barangay Mampang, where Diaz completed her elementary education.

She completed her secondary studies at the Universidad de Zamboanga Technical High School and studied computer science for two years at the Universidad de Zamboanga.

She is an enlisted personnel of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) assigned at the PAF Personnel Management Center. She is on detached service with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Meanwhile, Dr. Cecilia Atilano, City Sports Development Officer, said the city government is planning for a hero’s welcome for Hidilyn Diaz, who is scheduled to return home on August 14.

“We are very proud of her achievements,” Atilano said.

She said Diaz’s win in the Olympics will boost the morale of the local athletes and motivate them to continue training and strive harder.