MANILA—Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz on Thursday had a poignant reunion with her family, after being separated for some 20 months because of her training and prolonged further by a pandemic lockdown.
Her mother, Emelita, proudly showed off her daughter's gold medal at their reunion at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.
Diaz, who had not seen her family since December 2019, trained in Malaysia in February 2020 to focus on qualifying for the Tokyo Games.
But after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Diaz was stranded there, facing uncertainty over her weightlifting career, and worried about her team's and family's safety.
She and her team were forced to live in an apartment in Kuala Lumpur. Then in October 2020, Diaz relocated to the state of Malacca and resided in a house of a Malaysian weightlifting official.
After winning the country's first gold medal in the Olympics in Tokyo, Diaz was given a hero's welcome on July 28 before going through mandatory health protocols.
—With a report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News