MANILA - Champion weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz nearly quit her goal of snatching an Olympic medal after battling depression, her cousin and first coach said Tuesday.
Diaz, who secured the Philippines' first gold Olympic medal, underwent depression before securing a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, according to Catalino "Catz" Diaz.
"Before pa ng Rio Olympics, nung time na yun...gusto niya na rin mag quit kasi sa tagal na nagjojoin siya ng weightlifting sa Olympics wala siyang nakukuha," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Before the Rio Olympics, at the time...she wanted to quit because in the many times she joined weightlifting at the Olympics, she has yet to get a medal.)
"Yung last na experience niya napaka-bad ng performance niya so sabi niya ‘Kung itong Olympics di pa ako magkakamedal I will quit na.’"
(She had a bad performance during her last experience so she said, 'If I won't get any medal in this Olympics, I will quit.')
The Olympic gold medalist received an offer to work as a weightlifting coach, he added.
"Nung time na yun sobrang depressed niya. 'Yung depression niya is nagkaroon siya ng injury, nawalan siya ng coach noon. Tapos less ang support...Dati wala po siyang nutritionist, strength (conditioning)," he said.
(That time, she was severely depressed because she had an injury, she lost her coach. There was less support...she didn't have a nutritionist, strength conditioning before.)
"Sabi ko stay focused ka lang kasi kung ibibigay 'to sayo ni Lord, ibibigay talaga."
(I told her to stay focused because if the Lord will give this to you, he would.)
Hidilyn was the strongest among the Diaz cousins, according to her first coach.
"Sa lahat ng natrain ko, sa mga kapatid at pinsan ko, kahit babae si Hidilyn siya ang pinakamalakas sa kanila. Doon nakitaan ko na talaga na may potential talaga ang batang ito na i-train," he said.
(In all of the siblings and cousins I've trained, Hidilyn was the strongest even if she was a girl. That's when I saw she really had the potential to be trained.)
"Nung pagstart namin ang daming rejection sa'min kasi babae daw si Hidi, di raw puwede magjoin ng weightlifting."
(When we started, we faced many rejections because they said Hidi was a girl, she can't join weightlifting.)
Hidilyn bested 8 other competitors in her category at the Tokyo Olympics, including world-record holder Liao Qiuyun of China, when she lifted an Olympic record of 224 kilograms on Monday.