Pinay weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz lifted the Filipinos’ spirit as she captured the country’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last July 26. Hidilyn’s journey to her golden dream was long and emotional, and every sacrifice finally paid off.
For K-drama fans, the person who first comes to mind is Kim Bokjoo—the spunky heroine of the 2016 hit series Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bokjoo. Like Hidilyn, Bokjoo tirelessly chased her dream of weightlifting on a college campus.
Hidilyn and Bokjoo are incredibly passionate about their dream of becoming pro weightlifters. Take a look at these four heartwarming moments that show why they’re kindred spirits.
Hidilyn and Bokjoo come from humble beginnings
Hidilyn was born in Zamboanga City. Her father Eduardo was a tricycle driver before working as a farmer and fisherman. The fifth of six children, she lives in a small compound near the roadside with her family.
When she clinched her Olympic gold medal, her parents and siblings endured the poor TV signal to watch her compete.
Bokjoo’s family is not wealthy as well. Her father, a pro weightlifter in his youth, initially didn’t support his daughter’s dreams due to physical, mental, and financial strain.
Eventually, her family set their differences aside and worked together to help the heroine reach her dreams.
They are unapologetic about their weightlifting dreams
Hidilyn’s poor background didn’t stop her from achieving her dreams. When she was young, she honed her weightlifting skills by carrying ipil-ipil trees, sacks of cement, and alloy wheels. She eventually set up her own makeshift gym with barbells made of concrete.
The weightlifter also feared for her life before she entered the Tokyo Olympics. Two years ago, she was accused of participating in a plot to overthrow President Duterte and destabilize the government. Despite the backlash, she remained committed to her golden dream.
On the other hand, Bokjoo was a victim of South Korea’s beauty standards when she was crushing on an athlete who owns a weight loss center. Her crush on him initially affected her motivation of moving up a weight class. She was also judged by her peers for being passionate about an “unfeminine” sport.
Eventually, Bokjoo realized that no man is worth sacrificing her dreams. She immediately returned to her passionate self by religiously training, building up her muscles, and even seeking help from her besties to monitor her progress.
Hidilyn and Bokjoo almost gave up on their dreams
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Like many athletes, Hidilyn and Bokjoo almost gave up on their weightlifting dreams. They have the skills and passion to succeed in the sport. However, they experienced heartbreaking moments which drove them on the verge of quitting.
Hidilyn was one of the country’s favorites to win a medal in the 2012 London Olympics. However, she finished last. Her “disappointing” performance made her think of giving up at that time.
The 10th episode of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bokjoo was the lowest point of the spunky heroine. Bokjoo was in the middle of her lift when she saw her crush in the audience. At that time, she considered it embarrassing since he witnessed her “ugliest” moment. What made it worse was that her crush believed that it was “no big deal.”
They are blessed with a supportive network
It takes a village to support an athlete who’s competing in a sports event. Luckily, Hidilyn and Bokjoo are blessed with a group of trainers, fellow athletes, and loved ones who have their back.
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Hidilyn is blessed with a supportive network of coaches who helped her achieve her golden dream at the Olympics. Meanwhile, Bokjoo had the company of her friends who boosted her spirit. It’s adorable to note that her besties are fellow weightlifters as well.
Before we forget, Hidilyn and Bokjoo are also blessed with loving partners who supported them in their dreams. Repeat after us: sana all!
Banner and thumbnail photos from AFP and MBC