13 Years in the Making: Hidilyn Diaz Manifested Olympic Gold at Age 17

She knew what she wanted, and she did it.

hidilyn diaz
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano/File Photo ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Whether an answered prayer or just the law of attraction, there's always something magical about people saying their wishes out loud and actually achieving it. These days similar anecdotes are being passed around with the hashtag #manifest; or in Filipino, it's what we call nag-dilang anghel. For Hidilyn Diaz, she already had her sights set on an Olympic medal way back in 2008, at the young age of 17.

Also read:
Hidilyn Diaz Just Lifted the Entire Nation to Our First-Ever Olympic Gold Medal
Meet Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, the First Pinoy Olympic Gold Medalist

In an interview with GMA's 24 Oras, Diaz talked about her training and preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She was then the youngest competitor in the women's 58-kg category, and also the first Filipino to compete in the sport since 1988.

Ang Diyos po. Kasi parang pinapahiwatig niya sa akin na magiging God's athlete ako. Na someday dadalhin ko 'yong flag ng Pilipinas as weightlifter gold medalist sa Olympics,” she said in the 2008 interview.

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Here's Hidilyn Diaz 13 years ago:

The young Diaz failed to clinch the podium finish, but she broke the national record (and her own) on that Olympic stage in 2008. She returned to the Olympics in 2012, when she was the Philippines' flagbearer in the Opening Ceremony and successfully beat her personal best; and again in 2016, when she took home the Olympic gold medal in the women's 53-kg event. Fast forward to 2021, and she's made history for bagging the Philippines' first-ever Olympic gold medal—13 years after she said she would.

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