Weightlifting school overlooking the lake
OpinYon Rizal

Weightlifting school overlooking the lake

Olympic medalist Hidilyn Diaz’s legacy

Nov 14, 2023, 12:54 AM
OpinYon News Team

OpinYon News Team

News Reporter

WHEN weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won an Olympic gold in mid 2021, she knew that age is catching up on her and as such hinted on the need to develop Filipinos to add up to the country’s limited medal haul.

Two years later, Diaz breaks ground for her HD Weightlifting Academy in the town of Jala-Jala – a legacy she dreams that someday would mold many more of her kind— an Olympic gold medalist.

“Giving back, yes, I have to give back to the community what I have learned. Diaz said in a news article published in another newspaper.

“This is very significant for me because it’s the start of something we are doing or the beginning of what we are trying to achieve,” added Diaz in reference to her dream academy that would soon be constructed on a 108-square meter parcel at the center of a 7,000 square meter conjugal estate in Sitio Manggahan.

According to Diaz, the weightlifting academy is not that big, just a one-storey bungalow-type edifice that would sit at the center of her and husband Julius Naranjo’s 7,000 square meter property, catering to homegrown weightlifters.

However, the sensational Olympian assured that the facility would evolve and become world class, even as she (and her husband) envision the academy to reach that level in the years to come – the same path she took in her Olympic journey by starting as an 18-year-old wild card in Beijing 2008, gaining experience in London 2012, earning silver in Rio 2016 and finally striking gold in Tokyo 2021.

“This is just an ‘outreach gym’ for the meantime. World class? Maybe next time… We just have to address what the Jala-jala athletes need, and, of course, for me and Rosegie [Ramos] for our Paris Olympics campaign.”

Ramos is the Naranjos’ 19-year-old protégé they hope would also qualify for Paris.

The academy will have four platforms where eight athletes could train at the same time.

“The three platforms can accommodate 24 athletes simultaneously in two-hour sessions while the fourth platform is for resting,” she said.

Sport weightlifting equipment will be available in the academy designed by Architects Jocelyn Francisco, UAP, and Jose Miranda, UAP, and Frank Urcia.

Her husband will be the chief coach and trainer of the academy, which actually has informally started operating with the couple already having a pool of about a dozen Jala-Jala youngsters aged five to 17.

“Right now, we are training in the garage and inside the house and in a temporary gym. But we intend to also be a non-government advocate organization someday to sustain and support the academy,” Diaz further averred, even as she claimed that young and aspiring weightlifters have been seeking her for training and coaching.

“Everyday kids who want to train come along. But not everyone is able to survive the training, especially discipline and commitment. No extra-curricular activities and vices.”

The weightlifting champ however made it clear that trainees are not allowed to drop out and that staying in school is a priority for aspirants.

“Going to school is a requirement, sometimes we are providing scholarships so that they become good citizens as they balance their studies and sports,” said Diaz, who herself holds a degree in Business Management from the College of Saint Benilde.

“At the moment, I have three relatives and one from the Aeta community [in Jala-Jala] who are staying with us with daily meals. If there’s a dorm, it will be affordable and sustainable and we also intend the gym to run on solar energy so we can save on electric bills.”

The academy, she added, would be completed by late March or early April.

#OpinYonRizal #HidilynDiaz #Olympic #Gold #Weightlifting #School #HDWeightliftingAcademy #OpinYon #WeTakeAStand

More about OpinYon Rizal



2 days ago

We take a stand
OpinYon News logo

Designed and developed by Simmer Studios.

© 2023 OpinYon News. All rights reserved.