Filipino Olympic weightlifter will be given $660,000 and 2 houses for winning country's first gold
Weightlifter becomes emotional as she secures gold
As the pinnacle of elite sports, winning an Olympic event is the ultimate ego boost. Philippines weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz secured the gold for her country and immediately broke down in tears.
Diaz won the women's weightlifting 55 kg at the Tokyo Olympics, setting an Olympic record with a clean and jerk of 124 kg and then lifting 127 kg.
She reportedly plans to "eat a lot" and enjoy the company of her team while still in Tokyo.
"Yes, I will eat a lot tonight," Diaz told Yahoo.
"I mean I've been sacrificing my food, and this is the time to celebrate together with the people who are behind me. So I'm really thankful I can eat now, yes." Apparently, Diaz will have cheesecake bubble tea, which are top tier snack choices in all honesty.
Diaz won silver at Rio's 2016 games but set her sights and her mind on winning the gold at this year's games. In a bid to take her performance up to the next level, Diaz hired new coaches and moved to Malaysia. However, soon after, Covid restrictions came into effect, meaning she hadn't seen her family since 2019.
Yahoo reports that Diaz was training in her apartment, lifting weights and setting them down carefully not to crack the floor tiles. But if that weren't enough, Diaz spent her free time raising money to help distribute food packages.
But this time, Diaz won't just be returning home with a shiny new necklace. Bloomberg reports that the athlete shall receive $660,000 (33 million pesos) in cash prizes from the Filipino government, but it doesn't stop there. For her victory, she will be given a house in Tagaytay courtesy of Philippine Olympic president Abraham Tolentino, as well as a luxury $280,000 (14 million peso) condo in Eastwood City thanks to Chinese Filipino billionaire Andrew Lim Tan.
Some countries award their Olympians some undeniably cool things, but the Philippine's prize has to be the best.
Diaz also became emotional when her national anthem was played, choosing to salute in a nod to her time in the Philippines Air Force.
"I'm really thankful I can go home now and celebrate with my family and the people who support me," Diaz told reporters.
Such stories are vital to the success of the Olympics. Narratives of resistance, perseverance and general commitment always propel athletes to new heights. Diaz will undoubtedly set her sights on a new goal, but in the meantime, I hope she eats as much cheesecake as she can.
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