MANILA, Philippines – The surefire blueprint for the Philippines to win an Olympic gold medal will now be called the “Hidilyn Diaz model.”
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez said they’ve applied this same plan in 2016 when they, as requested by the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP), surrounded Diaz — who just came from a silver medal effort in the Rio Games — with a supporting cast that included Chinese coach Kaiwen Gao and strength and conditioning specialist Julius Naranjo.
It worked as Diaz delivered a historic Olympic mint for a nation that has been participating in the quadrennial event for almost a century.
“We have limited resources but we saw her potential so we took the chance,” said Ramirez.
Apart from Gao and Naranjo, the government sport-funding agency also provided Diaz with sports nutritionist Jeaneth Ario, psychologist Karen Trinidad and a masseuse.
It was eventually named “Team HD (Hidilyn Diaz).”
The same method has also been applied to other Olympians, among them gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and judoka Kiyomi Watanabe.
“I have always said experience is an advantage. Hidilyn took four Olympic cycles to finally attain her golden dream,” said Ramirez.
It also helped that the PSC spent P2.7 billion of people’s money to bankroll the Olympic campaign including Diaz’s.
And Ramirez will apply the same system as the country aims to win more gold in the 2024 Paris Games.
“I think it gives everyone more impetus to plan and start their preparations,” said Ramirez. “Pero dito muna tayo, savor the moment and keep praying for more moments of victories for our athletes and the Filipino people.”
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