“Never Let the Haters Stop”: Despite Multiple Setbacks Throughout the Years, Weightlifitng Pro Achieves First Olympic Gold for Her Country

Published 07/05/2023, 5:59 PM EDT

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Hidilyn Diaz, an exceptional weightlifter from the Philippines, becomes an incredible symbol of determination and strength. Despite facing countless challenges along her journey, she emerges victorious, proudly securing the first Olympic gold medal for her beloved nation during the 2020 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo.

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Right from the start of her professional journey, Diaz grappled with the formidable challenge of wrestling with self-confidence woes, which were prominently linked to how she viewed herself physically. As a female weightlifter, she felt that her toned muscles made her less attractive. Nevertheless, through her extraordinary experience, she served as a reminder that by persisting with steadfast determination, we possess the ability to overcome insecurities and surmount any obstacle hindering our progress.

A journey of insecurities and triumphs

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The unrelenting pursuit of perfection in Hidilyn Diaz’s sporting arena exposed her to critical remarks forthcoming from others. In her own words, she shared, “Then when I was growing up, I got insecure with my body, with myself, because I’m doing this sport.” However, rather than allowing the haters to define her, she used their criticisms as fuel to propel herself forward.

 

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Hidilyn Diaz took center stage at the 2008 Olympic Games starting in Beijing, a breakthrough moment spotlighting years of tireless training on her part. While acknowledging their success during this period, seeds of doubt continued to shadow her progress every step of the way. Despite these challenges, on July 26, 2021, Hidilyn Diaz accomplished a remarkable achievement at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She emerged victorious in the women’s 55 kg (121.2 pounds) weightlifting event, securing the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines.

In addition to this historic accomplishment, she also established a new Olympic record during her performance. She lifted a total of 224 kg (493.8 pounds), surpassing any previous record set by a woman in the same weight category at the Olympics. Despite facing tough competition from world record holder Liao Qiuyun of China, who lifted an impressive 223 kg (491.6 pounds) and earned the silver medal, Diaz proved herself to be unparalleled in her incredible feat. Fans around the globe have been captivated by this historic victory, joining hands in jubilation as they celebrate her achievement.

Fans celebrate a historic Olympic victory

The overwhelming number of comments left by viewers on the Olympics Instagram page serves as evidence of the immense influence Hidilyn Diaz has wielded over numerous individuals and the resolute national pride she has instilled in her country.

 

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One viewer, expressed the sentiment shared by many, stating, “Hidilyn not just brought us our very first Olympic gold, but she brought us unity, people from all walks of life coming together to celebrate her victory through perseverance and grit, making us all proud of our country.” Another viewer exclaimed, “‘Never Let the Haters Stop’” encapsulating the unwavering spirit and determination that defined Diaz’s path to Olympic gold.

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A devoted supporter from the Philippines emphasizes the profound importance of Hidilyn Diaz’s lasting influence on the country, and joyfully shares, “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! It’s almost 2 Years now, Thank you, Lord, for giving us our First Olympic Champion.”

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One fan marveled at her determination, saying, “She is a natural champion. You can’t imagine she was training for a year in a small village backyard in Malaysia for Tokyo Olympic preparation, with no modern gym equipment. But she still managed to get the GOLD medal.” 

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Hidilyn Diaz’s incredible accomplishment remains a source of inspiration for individuals striving to overcome their own hurdles. It is a poignant reminder that unwavering dedication is key to surmounting skepticism and attaining greatness.

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Written by:

Sahithya

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Sahithya is a US sports and entertainment content writer for Essentially Sports. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the sports industry. She delivers insightful and engaging articles that keep her readers up-to-date with the latest happenings in the world of sports.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh

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