The weightlifter from Zamboanga, Philippines changed the country’s history in sports with her recent win in the Tokyo Olympics 2021. 30-year-old Hidilyn Diaz competed in the women’s 55kg class last July 26.

Diaz made her country proud by bringing home a gold medal from the international sports competition. She also set an Olympic record by lifting a combined weight of 224. However, her road to Tokyo was not as easy as it may seem. She experienced a lot of challenges along the road–one of which is to raise a budget for her training–but that did not stop her from raising her country’s flag on the grandest sporting stage. Before Diaz’s recent achievement, the Philippines won only a total of 10 Olympic medals–three silver and seven bronze– since its first arrival in the sporting event almost a century ago in 1924.

Before her recent success, Diaz already made her country proud by also winning gold in the 2018 Asian Games and Roma 2020 World Cup. Certainly, in the middle of this COVID-19 mess, Diaz’s win gave hope to her struggling homeland.