What motivates Hidilyn Diaz to win

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

October 27 2021, 7:54 pm Updated on November 29, 2023, 7:13 am

<div><span style="color: #000000; font-family: arial, sans-serif;">Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz (<em>PNA photo by Ma. Cristina C. Arayata</em>) </span></div>
Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz (PNA photo by Ma. Cristina C. Arayata
MANILA – Hidilyn Diaz was not born with a silver spoon but struggled, persevered, and made a mark in Philippine history as an Olympic gold medalist.

It wasn't an overnight success. While Diaz may have several motivations, giving back to her family has been the main pushbutton for her to hit her goals, and eventually bag the gold.

"When I was younger and would ask for money from my mom and she didn't have it, I told myself that next time, part of the prize that I would get would be for her and my siblings," she shared in an "afternoon chikahan" organized by BDO on Wednesday.

The younger Hidilyn had allocated half of her earnings for her family and half for her expenses and wants. She admitted that she also spends on "wants" whenever she had the money. Back then, she said among her big purchases was an iPhone and an iPad.

It was in 2008 when she first joined the Olympics without even knowing what the Olympics is since she was a wild card. "Seeing the participants, I realized that the Olympics is for the world-class. So I realized that next time, I would not be a wild card, but a participant," Diaz said in Tagalog.

Then she won a silver medal and believed that she can also win gold.

She worked hard and stayed firm that she could make it. Fast forward, she was all over the headlines, and many are aware that she got millions, properties, and cars from that achievement.

Realizations and learnings have been always there in her journey. She currently bats for financial literacy among fellow athletes.

"Because I've seen many of them were not able to invest, and have prioritized wants over needs," she said, adding that she does not want the same thing to happen to her and other athletes.

Diaz noted the importance of saving money, emphasizing that they cannot be athletes forever.

She said that about 90 percent of what she got from winning the gold medal is already in the bank. "Financial literacy is important, to know more about investments," Diaz said.

The athlete confessed that she is ambitious, and wants to put up businesses such as a cafe, restaurant, even a hotel or Airbnb. Aside from not having time to focus on those things yet, Diaz acknowledged that one should not enter a business without being knowledgeable about it.

"I am thankful for all the blessings. But we should learn how to use these correctly," she emphasized.

In her 19 years of being an athlete, she said she has made several mistakes in handling money. She considers buying land to put up a gym after winning a silver medal as among those mistakes because she is not getting a profit.

But Diaz clarified she does not regret putting up that gym but also emphasized that while it's okay to do good, it is also important to earn and invest.

She said she enrolled in a Business Management course. "It has a subject on Entrepreneurship. I learned about marketing, branding, labor laws, and more," Diaz shared.

This champion also wants to tell the public, especially those from the provinces, not to belittle themselves. "We may have felt that we don't belong to a place such as a bank. But you will need this, such as for remittances, especially for the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). It is important to invest," she said. (PNA)