Nanay Emelita, Hidilyn were apart for 1 year as daughter trained
Five years ago, Emelita Diaz knelt in front of an altar, holding her rosary and praying ardently to bless her daughter, Hidilyn, who was competing at the Rio Olympics at the time.
Her prayers were answered as Hidilyn clinched silver at the Games, ending a 20-year medal drought for the Philippines.
Earlier, Nanay Emelita did the same as Hidilyn, who was in her fourth Olympic appearance, attempted to give the Philippines its first ever Olympic gold medal.
And just like in 2016, the heavens appeared to have listened to her again as the Filipina weightlifter wrote history in Philippine sports.
“Sobra sobrang kaba. Sobra ring masaya na hindi ko maintindihan yung nararamdaman,” Emelita told ABS-CBN News moments after Diaz topped the women’s 55kg event in Tokyo.
Nanay Emelita, ecstatic over Hidilyn's feat, revealed she has not seen her daughter for more than a year already as Diaz trained in Malaysia since March.
“Sobrang hirap din. More than 1 year na ang COVID at hindi pa kami nagkita. Sa video call lang,” she said.
But despite being away from each other, Emelita has Hidilyn on her mind every day, messaging the Olympic champion last July 20: “I love you, anak. I miss you. At good luck.”
Their sacrifices paid off as Diaz, now a 2-time Olympic medalist, listened to the national anthem being sung on the Olympic stage for the first time ever.
“Masayang-masaya kaming lahat kasi first time sa Zamboanga at Pilipinas na may makuha ng gold sa Olympics,” she said.
“Congratulations, Hids. Masayang masaya kami kasi nakatikim ka ng gold medal para sa bansa natin.”
Diaz bested eight other competitors in her category, including world record holder Liao Qiuyun of China, when she lifted an Olympic record of 224 kilograms on Monday.
Liao settled for silver with 223 kilograms but went head-to-head with Diaz in the clean and jerk round. Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan took the bronze after tallying 213kg.
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