Hidilyn perfect model


THAT’S definitely a good idea.  Retain the 19 Tokyo 2020 Olympians for the next mission.

The Games in Paris 2024 are just three years away, anyways.  Before you know it, the Olympics fever is with us again.  Time flies.

There’s no compelling reason to disband the Tokyo 2020 contingent.  Practically all 19 did well.  One or two might have faltered but the experience will only make them better if they just persevere.

Hidilyn Diaz needed 13 years to become an Olympic champion, her weightlifting win coming on her fourth Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

Hidilyn was only 17 on her first Olympics in Beijing 2008.

She finished second-to-last.

Did she quit?  No.

She came back in London 2012.

She was DNF.  Almost an asterisk.  Nondescript. DNF being “Did Not Finish.”

Did she quit after a second successive failure?  No. It only galvanized her resolve to go on fighting, like a wounded tiger unyielding till the last drop of its blood.

And in Hidilyn’s third try, she finally hit pay dirt.  A shiny silver in Rio 2016 made her the first Filipino female medalist in almost a century of Olympics participation.

For that lone Philippine medal in Brazil, Hidilyn received a P5-million government-decreed incentive.  Did she retire?  No.

And so, four years later last July 26, Hidilyn lifted the nation’s hopes to heights, finally ending a 97-year wait for the Philippines’ first ever gold medal after silver victories by boxers Anthony Villanueva(+) and Onyok Velasco in 1964 and 1996, respectively—not to mention Hidilyn’s own silver in Rio 2016.

The win also made Hidilyn the Philippines’s first double-medal Olympics winner after swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, the “Ilocano Shark,” captured back-to-back bronze medals in Amsterdam 1928 and Los Angeles 1932.

It is now, therefore, imperative that there couldn’t be a more perfect model than Hidilyn Diaz to pattern our winning formula in our continuing quest for more Olympics successes.

As Hidilyn herself said it, “It can be done.  Nothing is impossible.”

Actually, she can now retire and savor the glory of her feat.  But no.  Despite being already awash with cash and the recipient of seemingly unending perks now up to her neck, she said she’s not done.  And she turned 30 already last February 20.

“I’ll continue competing for as long as God gives me the strength to do it,” she said.

What a warrior.

THAT’S IT   Upon their arrival on Monday from Tokyo, boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial received additional cash bonuses from President Duterte. Silver winners Petecio and Paalam received P2 million more each and bronze medalist Marcial P1 million.  When it rains, it pours.

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