IN PHOTOS: From debuting Olympian in 2008, Hidilyn finally reaches mountaintop
From an 18-year-old weightlifting prospect at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, then an athlete whose every accomplishment made her look like the one who could deliver that elusive Olympic gold for the Philippines.
One can say Hidilyn Diaz fulfilled her destiny in Tokyo on Monday.
By being her country's first Olympic champion ever, Diaz has entered not just Philippine sports history books but she will forever be part of Philippine history, period.
Here's a look back at her journey as an unknown entity in the late 2000s, to a consistent international competition winner, and finally a legend.
This file photo taken on December 2, 2006 shows Hidilyn Diaz competing in the women's 53kg weightlifting event at the 15th Asian Games in Doha. The 17-year-old is one of 15 athletes from the Philippines heading to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and she is hoping her hard work and sacrifice will help her become her country's first-ever Olympic gold medallist. Hassan Ammar, AFP/file
Philippines flagbearer Hidilyn Diaz leads her delegation on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London, during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Gabriel Buoys, AFP/file
Hidilyn Diaz fails an attempt in the weightlifting women's 58kg Group B event at The Excel Centre in London on July 30, 2012, during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Yuri Cortez, AFP/file
Tawain’s gold medallist Hsu Shu-Ching, silver medallist Hidilyn Diaz, and South Korea's bronze medallist Yoon Jin Hee pose on the podium after the women's 53kg weightlifting event at the Rio 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro on August 7, 2016. Goh Chai Hin, AFP/file
Rio silver medallist Hidilyn Diaz is welcomed by Philippine Airforce personnel, as she arrives in Manila on August 11, 2016. Diaz is the country's first Olympic winner in 20 years. Noel Celis, AFP/file
Hidilyn Diaz and mother Emelita share a moment days after Diaz arrive in Zamboanga post-Rio August 14, 2016. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file
Golfers Lois Kaye Go (from left), Bianca Pagdanganan, Yuka Saso (right) and weightifter Hidilyn Diaz (second right) show their respective gold medals upon their arrival from the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file
Hidilyn Diaz celebrates after winning gold in the women's 55-kg division of weightlifting in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file
This picture taken on May 21, 2021 shows Hidilyn Diaz taking part in a training session in Jasin in the Malaysian city of Malacca. Mohd Rasfan, AFP/file
Hidilyn Diaz reacts after placing first in the women's 55kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. Vincenzo Pinto, AFP
Hidilyn Diaz holds up her gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on July 26, 2021. Edgard Garrido, Reuters
Hidilyn Diaz holds her gold medal. Edgard Garrido, Reuters
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