From KL to Melaka to Tokyo - weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz wins the Philippines first ever Olympic gold medal


This is something worth celebrating.

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz inked her name in the history books as winning the Philippines first ever Olympic gold medal.

The 30-year-old's historic achievement caught the attention of the Presidential Palace. It a statement, it said:

"The Palace congratulates Hidilyn Diaz for bringing pride and glory to the Philippines for winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal.

"Congratulations, Hidilyn. The entire Filipino nation is proud of you."

So what has it got to do with Malaysia?

For those who still remember, Hidilyn was stuck in Jasin, Melaka for one and a half years, mainly due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

She came to Malaysia in February 2020 to train as her Chinese coach, Gao Kaiwen, thought it would be better for her as she focused on qualifying for Tokyo.

But following the Covid-19 pandemic, the Malaysian government enforced a lockdown in March, closing down gyms and access to weightlifting equipment. She was in Kuala Lumpur then.

In October, Diaz and her team relocated to a rural area in the southern coastal state of Malacca where they have been living in the house owned by a Malaysian weightlifting official.

Read the full AFP report published not too long ago.

Amazing isn't it? It's not about fancy equipment - but pure determination.

And Hidilyn showed that training in Malaysia can turn one into an Olympic champion.


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