Hidilyn Diaz, Tokyo Olympics medalists rally learners to pursue dreams amid pandemic

TOKYO OLYMPICS gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz in a file photo

MANILA – Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist, and other members of the Olympic team in Tokyo provided inspiration to aspiring student-athletes during the recently-held Pinoy Sports Heroes: The Ultimate Balik-Eskwela Pinoy Sports Con of the Department of Education (DepEd).

During the virtual sports convention, Diaz imparted how sports changed her life while encouraging learners to continue pursuing their dreams amid many challenges, including the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

“Gusto ko lang pong sabihin sa lahat ng mga estudyante na alam kong mahirap, mahirap ang pinagdadaanan natin. Learn to adopt. Estudyante rin po ako [ngayon], at nahihirapan din po ako pero ako kasi hindi ako sumuko [sa mga pagsubok] kasi gusto kong magkaroon ng degree. Someday or next year, sana magkaroon na ako ng degree (I would like to tell to our students that the life we are going through is really difficult. Learn to adapt. I’m also a student, I’m struggling but I did not give up because I want to finish my degree. Someday or next year, I hope I will get my own degree),” Diaz said.

She urged the learners to be consistent with what they are doing to achieve their dreams.

“Sumunod sa teachers kasi alam nila kung alin ang tama (Follow your teachers because they know what is right). Then, surround yourself with people that will help you, ‘yong may good influence sa ‘yo (those who have good influence to you)… Then, trust God. Trust in yourself and trust the people behind you,” she added.

Nesthy Petecio, the country’s first female Olympic silver medalist in boxing, said the 2020 Olympic stint gave her a chance to prove herself to everyone that she could be on the podium through hard work.

“Sobrang blessed po na binigyan ako ni Lord ng pagkakataon na ipakita sa lahat na kung ano ang kaya kong gawain, [at] kung ano ‘yong kaya kong patunayan hindi lang sa sarili ko kundi sa lahat ng tao kaya sobrang saya ko po at proud po ako [na i-represent ang Pilipinas] (I am so blessed that the Lord gave me a chance to show to everyone what I can do, what I can prove not only to myself but to everyone and I’m so proud to represent the Philippines),” Petecio said.

Boxing Olympic silver winner Carlo Paalam and bronze medalist Eumir Marcial, finalist Carlos Edriel Yulo (gymnastics), Margielyn Didal (skateboarding), and EJ Obiena (pole vault), and Paralympic swimmer Gary Bejino also related the journey of their respective careers.

The Pinoy Sports Heroes activity is a collaboration project of the Bureau of Learner Support Services’ School Sports Division and Youth Formation Division under the administration strand of Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua to motivate learners and student-athletes amidst the pandemic.

“Speaking of world-class athletes, with the recent accomplishments of our country’s delegates to the Tokyo Summer Olympics, particularly the medalists who made history and gave the Philippines its best Olympic showing ever. The youth for sure would be inspired with their experiences and stories, from their humble beginnings to their success in their respective sports,” Pascua said.