July 26, 2021 was a historic day for the Philippines as Olympic athlete Hidilyn Diaz snatched the first Olympic gold medal of the country when she won in the 55kg category of the Tokyo Olympics weightlifting competition.
The gold medal came after Hidilyn successfully handed the country a silver medal in the Rio Olympics in 2016. Add to that her gold medal from the 2018 Asian Games, which made her the first Filipino weightlifter to win gold in the said competition.
Despite all her accolades as a professional athlete, the 30-year-old still puts education a priority above all else. A year after her Rio Summer Olympics stint, Hidilyn decided to enroll as a Business Management major at De La Salle - College of St. Benilde.
Hidilyn Diaz as a Business Management major at College of St. Benilde
Even though she had to take a leave of absence in 2018 to focus on competing, Hidilyn was determined to resume her studies. Due to the Tokyo Olympics getting delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to go back to school, and was among the thousands of college students who had to transition to online class.
Just like most Business students, the Olympian understands the struggles of having to take subjects like Accounting. "Nape-pressure ka [na] sa training, nape-pressure ka rin sa Accounting," shared Hidilyn in a previous interview with Candy. Nonetheless, she appreciates every lesson she learns in college and looks forward to applying them to her life outside of weightlifting. She added, "Mas gusto ko ngayon kasi more on naa-apply ko sa daily life, maa-apply ko pagdating sa after ng career ko as an athlete kasi it's about taxation, labor, relationships."
Outside of acads, it seems that the Zamboanga-born weightlifter also had her fair share of extracurricular activities as a student. A Facebook post made by Brodenfsc Magbanua shared how Hidilyn once went to Porac, Pamapanga as a Benildean volunteer for PEACEKAMP to introduce weightlifting to the local kids. There, Hidilyn taught kids the proper form in weightlifting using bamboo poles from around the area.
The Benildean community is just as proud of their student as the rest of the country. On their official Facebook page, DLS-CSB made a congratulatory post for Hidilyn, saying, "Hidilyn has lifted the Filipino Pride and Spirit with this historic feat! We are one with the whole nation in celebrating Hidilyn's outstanding triumph and we are very proud of her hard work and extraordinary commitment as a Blazer, and a Filipino Athlete."
*This story originally appeared on Candymag.com. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.
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