Filipina athlete Hidilyn Diaz won for the Philippines its first gold medal in nearly a century for the women's 55 kg (121-pound) weight lifting division during competitions held on Monday for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She credits God for her accomplishment.
ChurchPOP reported that Diaz, broke the world record for a combined weight of 493.8 pounds or 224 kilograms. While The Christian Post said that Diaz, who has joined the Olympics for four times, gave credit to her Christian faith for grabbing the gold medal in the competition.
The Catholic Telegraph, on the other hand, said that Diaz, a Catholic, held her face after winning her final lift before bursting into tears. Then she gave praise to God.
"Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" Diaz blurted repeatedly as she clutched on the Miraculous Medal on her neck.
"I cannot believe my name is in the Olympic record. So I'm really thankful," she added. "God is Amazing! God is Amazing!"
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 26, 2021
In the video showing her most memorable moment in world history, Diaz could be seen in tears behind her face mask while standing on the podium saluting the Philippine flag as the Philippine national anthem played. Diaz, who wore the Olympic gold medal on top her red jacket, could then be seen pointing upward in gratitude to God and clutching the Miraculous Medal as soon as the anthem stopped.
"Mabuhay!" ("Long live the Philippines!") Diaz shouted after making the Sign of the cross before she stepped down the podium.
In her Instagram account on Wednesday, Diaz expressed that she could have not won the gold medal if it was just her might and strength. She called lifting her record breaking weight as "impossible" for human strength and quoted the Bible verse in Matthew 19:26, "with God all things are possible."
"I can not believe I am here in the Olympics. I can not believe the Olympics pushed through. I can not believe TeamHD is here. I can not believe I am a Gold Medalist in the Olympics. If it was just me, I can not do something so impossible as this Thank you God for sending me people, government support, private support, family, friends, and prayer warriors so that I was able to do this and make it possible," Diaz said.
ChurchPOP revealed that Diaz posted in Instagram days before the competition that she received the Miraculous Medal along with a "leaflet of angels and Sacred Heart of Jesus" from a friend whom she thanked for sending it to her. She also thanked her followers for their prayers for her to win the competition and for her safety considering the pandemic.
CBCP News reported on Tuesday that Diaz said the Miraculous Medal was a sign of her faith in God during a virtual conference where she revealed the story behind it.
"This was given to me by my friend. They prayed the novena for 9 days before my competition. I also prayed the novena. It is a sign of their faith and my faith to Mama Mary and Jesus Christ," Diaz disclosed in the conference.
CBCP News also highlighted that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has joined the entire country in celebrating Diaz' remarkable win and testament to her Christian faith that has viraled and touched many.
"We admire her devotion to the Blessed Mother as she carried in her victory her great faith in God. Hidilyn is a true weightlifter who draws her strength from her love for the country and her deep Catholic faith," CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles said in a statement.
The Christian Post cited Diaz solid faith that she professes openly through a post she made in January that expresses gratitude to God for her team, TeamHD, "who is there fighting and working together for one goal and one dream for the Philippines", before she expressed hopes of growing "together towards #Tokyo2020."
Diaz came home as Silver Medalist during the 2016 Rio Olympics and have also competed in the 2012 London and 2008 Beijing Olympics. She also participated in the 2018 Asian Games and the 2019 World Championships. She was awarded 2016 Athlete of the Year by the Philippine Sportswriter Association and 2016 Sportsman of the Year by Spin.ph.
In winning the gold medal for her country, Diaz is the "first female athlete to win the Olympic Medal" and the "first Filipino medal in weightlifting" aside from being the first non-boxer medalist for the Philippines since 1936.