Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines, ending the nation’s 97-year drought.
“History. Made,” the Olympics said on its Twitter account after 30-year-old Diaz, a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics, won in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting competition in Tokyo on Monday. She lifted an Olympic record 127 kilograms in the clean and jerk event, which sealed her victory, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 26, 2021
Diaz spent seven months away from her family after being stuck due to Covid-19 restrictions while on training in Malaysia. “I miss my mom and her food,” she said in an interview ahead of the Olympics. “But this is what I want, this is what I love to do.”
With the win, Diaz will take with her 33 million pesos ($660,000) in cash prizes from the government and several businessmen and a house and lot. The Philippine Sports Commission guarantees a 10 million-peso incentive for every Olympic gold.
“The entire Filipino nation is proud of you,” President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said.