Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz took top billing in an ecstatic nation’s newspapers above reports on a major speech by her president just one day after making history by winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines. Diaz appeared four times in the Olympics and won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. This year she won the 55kg category women’s weightlifting.
The 30-year-old is being showered with accolades. In 2019 the story was completely different when her name was included on a list of people accused of plotting against the same man, Rodrigo Duterte. Salvador Panelo, spokesman for Duterte made her fear for life as quoted by domestic media. It did not deter her and said she is busy making sacrifices for the Philippines and is focused on Tokyo 2020.
On Tuesday spokesperson of the president, Harry Roque said they will carve Hidilyn Diaz’s name in the Philippines’ history. In May 2019, Diaz’s name appeared on the chart who was accused of aiming “to discredit the administration leading to its ouster”. Panelo said it is disheartening that there are people who seek to take the limelight out of Ms. Diaz’s recent triumph and convert it into a political skirmish about who should and should not celebrate the country’s win.