I’ve been following the Philippines’ Olympic journey ever since I took part in 2008. I wasn’t an athlete but I was there working behind the scenes at the Bird’s Nest making sure that the building is running smoothly. The flagbearer at that time was Mr. Manny Pacquiao. The president at that time invited the whole Filipino community of Beijing to a luncheon in support of our athletes. There I met a petite young weightlifter by the name of Hidilyn Diaz. That was her first Olympic games at a young age of 17.
From then on, I’ve been following the Philippines athletes journey in the Olympics. I was even thinking of writing several blogs similar to what I did in 2008 where I saw a lot of blog traffic. In any case, I’ve seen her grow from a young lady to where she is now. She won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio where she was the first Filipina to do so. On her 4th and possibly her last Olympics, she won for the Philippines their first Olympic Gold medal. It was a memorable and joyous event hearing the Philippine national anthem played in the Olympics.
I’m pretty sure she will receive a heroes welcome as well as a lot of cash incentives from different companies and politicians. It’s very much a welcome news to the country plagued by the pandemic. However, the games are just starting and there are a few more athletes vying for a place in the podium. Tough luck though for them, the first Olympic gold medallist will go down in the annals of Philippine sport.
Photos from various online news sources.