Freeman Cebu Sports

Thankful Hidilyn Diaz ready to move on with life after weightlifting

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — “Winning is not everything.”

After failing to make it to this year’s Paris Olympics, Filipino Olympic gold medal weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz said that she will spend some time with her loved ones, and learn some new skills.

Last week, during the International Weightlifting Federation World Cup in Phuket, Thailand — the final Olympic qualifying event for the Paris Olympics — Diaz notched 99 kilograms for snatch and 123 kilograms for clean and jerk, which put her total at 222 kilograms.

It was not enough for Diaz to crash into the top 10 of the event and the top 10 of the Olympic Qualification Ranking.

“I realized what is forever: and it is not fame, not money, not even winning or losing. But God, family, and real friends. These are my forever. Thank you for your heartfelt messages of love and support,” she posted on Facebook.

“Winning is not everything; It is being on the platform and taking on the challenges that give inspiration to other athletes. Thank you to the athletes who messaged me and said that I inspired them. I served and will continue to serve my purpose in weightlifting, as I inspire many athletes to dream high, take the challenge, and work hard to achieve their dreams and never give up. Just lift! You can do it,” she added.

Diaz rose to the 59 kilogram category of the women’s division, from the 55 kilogram category she dominated in the Tokyo Olympics.

“The Olympics and weightlifting are not my everything. I sacrificed a lot of my time to train and sometimes I forget to enjoy the process because I am caught with the high expectations and high pressure of being an elite athlete,” Diaz said.

“This moment is for me to learn new skills — join classes and workshops to learn to cook and bake. I have long wanted to take culinary courses since I was 22 years old, and now, I will not just imagine doing pasta, pizza, and kare-kare, I will bake and cook some for my friends and family,” she added.

“I will also learn to do business and invest myself in education to be a better sports leader. I have a lot of things to learn in life. This is #FamilyTime, I will be spending time with my family, Ninongs & Ninangs, and my friends. Together, we’ll make memories and enjoy the time with them.” – EBV

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