JAKARTA, Indonesia – Philippine weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz apparently has a long-time fan in basketball standout Chris Tiu.
"To see a fellow athlete go up the podium and with the gold medal, it makes us so proud," said Tiu, who admitted to have been following Diaz's career since the 2012 London Olympics.
"Lalo na, ang sipag niya, and 'yung kayod niya, despite limited resources and facilities, pero ginawan niya ng paraan, and she overcame all that."
(She found a way through hard work, despite the limited resources and facilities. She overcame all that.)
The Rain or Shine player also wanted to remind Filipinos that even if weightlifting isn't as popular as basketball, accomplished athletes like Diaz should be looked up to as role models.
"Weightlifting doesn't get much media attention, but it's still a gold, and it's a reflection of the hard work, the perseverance, the sacrifices that she put in, mental and physical toughness," added Tiu.
"That's reflective of the Filipino people."
With one Asian Games gold in the bag, Tiu hopes that Gilas can add a medal – no matter what color – to the Philippines' haul.
"It makes us wish that we can do the same for our country by bringing home a medal. Kahit hindi man lang gold, basta medal," said Tiu.
(Hidilyn Diaz's gold makes us wish that we can do the same for our country by bringing home a medal. Even if it's not gold, as long as it's a medal.) – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.