By Robert B. Roque, Jr.
As ludicrous as it was for Hidilyn Diaz to have been tagged in a “matrix” of a supposed plot to oust the President in 2019, her historic win in the Olympics Monday night did topple Duterte and his final SONA off Tuesday’s media headlines.
For that and her golden triumph in the Olympics, CONGRATULATIONS!
Woefully for this administration, even Duterte could not claim in his litany of alleged accomplishments strong support for Hidilyn’s dream-come-true of a gold medal – the Philippines’ first in all 32 stagings of the quadrennial world games.
Since she won the silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Hidilyn has given more of herself to the country and the sport, even using her own resources for a village gym in her hometown Mampang, Zamboanga City to introduce weightlifting to young aspiring athletes. She was generous even if her own training sorely lacked funding.
Her one-time plea on social media since winning the gold in the 2018 Asian Games to support her and our country’s once-impossible quest for an Olympic gold went sideways. Thanks to our very own kababayans who insulted her, accused her of blowing away her medal winnings, and condemned her for supposedly throwing shade on the government as if this administration thrived on an immaculate image.
Many of us Filipinos who now participate in the joy of her victory in Tokyo owe her to read up on the truth to get our facts straight about our first Olympic champion. Perhaps, doing so could even fix our crooked political views often based on deception like many rambling parts of the last SONA we heard.
On Monday, when Hidilyn clinched gold, she also set an Olympic record with her lifting a 224-kilogram total. Her feat trumped that of the highly-favored representative of China. Wasn’t that extra sweet to watch, especially after our spirits to assert our claim and international tribunal victory over China in the West Philippine Sea had been shot down by our very own president’s speech hours earlier?
In the moments after clearing her final lift, Hidilyn’s every action and gesture was brimming with national pride, waving multiple times to all the Filipinos that could see and singing every lyric of the Philippine anthem played for the first time in Olympic history. It reminds all 110 million Pinoys that victory is real even if the odds are stacked against us, even if the best of the whole world competed against us. Without a 2-1/2-hour speech or even a single word, Hidilyn conveyed that message loud and clear.
That’s why Hidilyn’s first gold medal is worth the banner headline over Duterte’s last SONA.
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