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Hidilyn Diaz ends her 2024 Paris Olympics journey: 'I served and will continue to serve my purpose'

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Apr 11, 2024 5:24 pm

Filipino Olympian and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz reflected on her loss to once again secure a ticket to the Olympics for its 2024 edition.

Diaz was bested by fellow Filipino weightlifter Elreen Ando at the women's 59kg event of the 2024 IWF World Cup, who finished in seventh place with a total lift of 228kg.

In a Facebook post, Diaz shared some of the lessons she learned from her journey, despite not receiving the result she wanted.

"Thy will be done. It was not my day and Paris 2024 is not for me," she said.

She gave her well wishes to all the weightlifters around the world who qualified in the upcoming event, especially the Filipino athletes, and to the athletes who did their best in the last Olympic Qualifying Competition.

"We did great, we fought hard, and we did our best for our country," Diaz highlighted.

Despite missing the chance to return to the Olympics for the fifth time in a row, the gold medalist emphasized that it's not the end of the road for her as an athlete.

"I will still lift, continue to lift, and inspire young Filipino Athletes to become Olympic Champions," Diaz said.

Reflecting on the lessons she learned from her journey, she highlighted how she gained a new-found appreciation for her nearest and dearest and that winning isn't always the end goal.

"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," Diaz wrote.

"Winning is not everything; it is being on the platform and taking on the challenges that give inspiration to other athletes," she continued. "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."

As she is sacrificing most of her time to train, Diaz admitted that she tends to forget to enjoy the process because of how she is "caught with the high expectations and high pressure of being an elite athlete."

But now that her Paris Olympics journey is in the rear-view mirror, she is keen on learning new skills and joining cooking and baking classes and workshops.

"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. I will also learn to do business and invest myself in education to be a better sports leader," Diaz shared.

Aside from this, the Filipino sports icon also plans to bond with her family and contribute to the weightlifting community in the country.

"I truly believe God has a better plan. I trust Him and for now, because of my love for God, weightlifting, my country, and for all of you… I will continue to lift everything—all in God’s hands!" she ended.

Diaz made history as the first Filipino athlete—and a woman at that—to win a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for the women’s 55 kg category.

The 2024 Paris Olympics will be held from July 26 to Aug. 11. Apart from Ando, other Filipino athletes who will compete in the event are Filipina boxers Nesthy Petecio and Aira Villegas, boxer Eumir Marcial, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan, and fellow weightlifters Rosegie Ramos and John Ceniza.