May 20, 2024

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Hidilyn Diaz charts new course beyond weightlifting amid failed Paris 2024 bid

3 min read
BEYOND WEIGHTLIFTING. After failing to secure a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics, Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz embraces a new chapter beyond weightlifting. HIDILYN DIAZ PHOTO

Following her setback in missing out on qualifying for the Paris Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz, the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist, is embracing a new chapter beyond weightlifting. Diaz, now 33, shared her acceptance and gratitude despite falling short in her bid for a fifth Olympic appearance.

In a candid and introspective social media post, Diaz acknowledged that “Paris 2024 is not for me,” expressing that the Olympics and weightlifting do not solely define her. 

Reflecting on her journey, Diaz recognized the sacrifices made and the pressures of elite athletics, highlighting her desire to explore new interests and passions outside of the sport.

While her compatriot Elreen Ando secured her place in the Paris Olympics with an outstanding performance at the IWF World Cup, Diaz remained gracious in defeat, acknowledging the support she received and expressing unwavering faith in God’s plan.

Looking ahead, Diaz outlined her aspirations beyond weightlifting. She expressed a keen interest in culinary pursuits, vowing to enroll in culinary courses and indulge in cooking for her loved ones. Additionally, Diaz aims to invest in entrepreneurship and education, aspiring to become a more influential figure in sports leadership.

Despite missing out on Paris, Diaz remains committed to uplifting others through her experiences and inspiring athletes to dream big and persevere. Her resilience and positive outlook serve as a testament to her character both on and off the platform.

Meanwhile, Elreen Ando’s triumph signals a new chapter for Philippine weightlifting as she prepares for her second Olympic appearance. Ando’s dedication and sacrifices paid off with an impressive lift of 228kg, securing her ticket to Paris. Now focused on securing a medal, Ando embodies the spirit of perseverance and determination that defines elite athletes.

Aside from Ando, Filipino weightlifters Vanessa Sarno and John Febuar Ceniza also earned spots in the Paris 2024 Olympics via direct qualification while fourth lifter Rosegie Ramos also technically qualified. 

The Philippine weightlifting is poised for a strong showing on the Olympic platform.

As Diaz embraces a future beyond weightlifting, she leaves behind a legacy of excellence and inspiration. Her journey exemplifies the values of resilience, humility, and faith, serving as a guiding light for aspiring athletes and individuals navigating life’s challenges. 

While her Olympic dreams may have shifted, Diaz’s impact transcends sports, embodying the true essence of a champion in all aspects of life.

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