Weightlifter Philippines' First-Ever Olympic Gold Medal | 22 Words

Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz has won the first-ever Olympic gold medal for her country and now plans to treat herself to something sweet to celebrate.

Diaz won the women's weightlifting 55 KG at the Tokyo Olympics, setting an Olympic record with a clean and jerk of 124 KG and then lifting 127 KG.

As per Yahoo News, she told AFP: "Yes I will eat a lot tonight," as she takes in her victory.

"I mean I've been sacrificing my food, and this is the time to celebrate together with the people who are behind me. So I'm really thankful I can eat now, yes," said the proud athlete.

She's reportedly planning on having cheesecake and bubble tea.

Diaz already etched her name into the Philippines sporting history when she became the first woman to win silver in Rio 5 years ago, which was the first medal won in any event in twenty years for her country. After which, she set her sights on gold.

She recruited Gao Kaiwen, a top Chinese coach, just 2 months before winning gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018. According to Diaz, he "made a difference in my lifts. He's a positive person and I like to have him around me."

Gao introduced heavier weights and new routines to target specific areas before she hired another coach, Julius Naranjo, which she calls "Team HD."

Since February last year, Diaz has been living in Malaysia, away from her family and friends, due to the Covid pandemic. And now, she can't wait to go home.

"I'm looking forward to enjoying life because I have been in Malaysia for, I don't know, almost two years so I'm really thankful I can go home now and celebrate with my family and the people who support me," she told AFP.

She initially went to train in Malaysia in February 2020 to focus solely on qualifying for Tokyo.

But sadly, COVID-19 restrictions were quickly introduced meaning gyms were closed, resulting in Diaz having a lack of access to weightlifting equipment and the lingering worry of whether the Olympics would even go ahead.

Diaz and Team HD were stuck in an apartment block in Kuala Lumpur for months, where she had to try not to crack the tile floors with her weights.

Amazingly, despite her struggles, she still managed to raise money online to deliver food packages to struggling families in the Philippines in her spare time.

Now, all her efforts have paid off and she can enjoy the celebrations.

"I don't know if I'm a national hero," she said after winning gold on Monday. "But I'm thankful that God used me to inspire all the young generation and all the Philippines people to keep fighting during this pandemic."

Congratulations, Hidilyn!