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Faces of Faith: Hidilyn Diaz

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

by Clyde Ericson H. Nolasco

The whole Filipino nation stopped last July 26 to celebrate its first Olympic gold medal snatched by Hidilyn Diaz in the weightlifting competition. Diaz lifted an Olympic record and combined weight of 224 kilograms putting her at the top spot in the women's 55-kg class in Tokyo.

This 30-year-old Filipino athlete and four-time Olympian from Zamboanga was quick to associate her winning to God. In her winning moment, upon releasing the 127 kilograms weights, she was dumbfounded while hugging her team and crying because of her victory. However, the first words she uttered were “Thank you, Lord!”

Diaz' winning moment, "Thank you, Lord" | Video from One Sports

The Miraculous Medal

At the end of the game, she was wearing two medals -- the Olympic gold medal and the Miraculous medal of our Lady. In the awarding ceremony, many of our kababayans, aside from the goosebumps of hearing the National Anthem for the first time in the Olympics, immediately noticed that she was wearing the Miraculous medal.

Asked about the “other” medal in a press conference after the game, Diaz said, "Miraculous medal po. Binigay ng friend ko nag-novena sila for nine days before my competition. Ako din po nag-novena.” (Miraculous medal. It was given by a friend, they prayed the novena before my competition. I also prayed.) Many Catholics were in awe of Diaz’ faith in God and love for Mary.

The Miraculous medal or also known as the Medal of the Immaculate Conception was shown to St. Catherine Labouré, a spiritual daughter of St. Louise de Marillac and St. Vincent de Paul. This took place in the chapel of the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity, Paris, France. The Medal was made according to Our Lady's design. It was freely circulated and in a short time was worn by millions and many miracles were associated with it.

Diaz with the Miraculous Medal during her game |

Photos from Tokyo Olympics, and Diaz' IG

It was a Miracle

For the third and last attempt, Diaz must lift either 126 kgs to tie with the Chinese lifter who was currently leading or 127 kgs to win. She thrusted up the latter and the rest was history.

Diaz admittedly said that it was her first time to successfully lift that much weight, "Nata-try ko na siya sa training pero di ko pa nagagawa. Every time tina-try ko, di ko nagagawa, umiiyak ako, sobrang lugi ako sa mga training pag 'di ko nagagawa pero at least na-try ko sa training." (I would try it during training but I have not done it. Whenever I would try it, I would fail to do it, I would cry, I feel that my training was not enough if I would not be able to do it but at least I tried.)

She won the gold and even pulled off a record-breaking stunt. During training she would just maxed at 125 kgs.

In her latest Instagram post, Diaz expressed her amazement of what happened and thanked the people who supported her while quoting Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

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