EDITORIAL - Let’s not spoil this victory

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - Letâs not spoil this victory

With a lift of her muscular arms, Hidilyn Diaz changed not just Philippine sports history, but also Philippine history itself after she brought home our first Olympic gold medal the other day in the 55 kg weightlifting competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

We cannot deny and should not belittle the fact that her triumph is now one of our country’s proudest moments; we have long been starved for this particular victory, this one achievement in our sporting records.

The fact that she had to beat a rival from China to get the gold makes it even more satisfying and memorable. Indeed, it was a victory that could not have come at a better time, what with the virus still wreaking havoc on our lives and foreign vessels making their presence felt in our waters.

But this being the Philippines, her victory was immediately colored with politics in online platforms. With many comments coming out just minutes after her feat.

Those with a beef against this administration were quick to seize on Diaz’s victory as something that cannot be shared with Diehard Duterte Supporters, many of whom were quick to criticize Diaz when she had to beg for sponsorship to continue her training.

Not to be outdone, the other side immediately credited her victory as something she owes to this administration. Some sectors even went as far as to congratulate President Rodrigo Duterte for the Philippine’s first Olympic gold medal.

You can expect more politicians, groups, or even individuals to somehow hitch their wagon to her stars --or in this case, her gold medal-- in pursuit of their own goals. Election time is approaching after all.

Can we set all this noise aside for now? Can’t we just enjoy this sporting victory for what it is? It is great moment for Philippine sports. It is watershed moment for Filipino women. It was the drink that ended a long drought felt by generations upon generations upon generations of Filipino athletes.

Looking at it another way, we can even say this is one instance where we beat China, whatever that may mean to some of us.

Let’s not spoil her victory --our victory-- by giving it more meaning than it has.

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