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Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz (Artwork by Ariana Maralit)

It is no secret that being a woman is already a challenge itself—dealing with monthly periods, hormones and continuously fighting in breaking the society’s norms and expectations. 

Imagine how much more is the pressure and challenge for women athletes? This is something Pinoy first gold Olympic medalist Hidilyn Diaz openly admitted to the public at the recently held opening of the new Under Armour store in SM North Edsa last Oct. 14, 2022. 

During the event, Hidilyn said that there were lots of negative reactions she got when people found out that she’s into weight lifting. “Marami talagang magsasabi na ‘babae ka dapat sa bahay ka’ o ‘babae ka huwag ka dyan sa sports na yan (Some with tell you that, as a woman, you should stay at home or a particular sports is not fit you),'” she says. “Ganun din yung pinagdaanan ko kaya alam kong may mga ganun ding sitwasyon na nangyari sa inyo (I know that because I’ve been through the same situation).”

She then encouraged women not to listen to these voices and pursue their passion. “Pero sana huwag tayong makinig sa sinasabi nila na hindi tayo pwede dito or doon.  Sana huwag tayong mag-stop (Ignore them and don’t stop).” she says. “Gagawin natin ito dahil gusto nating gawin, dahil nage-enjoy tayo sa ginagawa natin na sports. Kung anuman yung sinusuot natin huwag natin ipadikta base sa kung ano ang gusto ng iba (Do it because you love it. Do it because you love that sport. Don’t let other people dictate you on what you should do and what you should wear).” 

Hidilyn then thanked Under Armour for releasing a more inclusive collection for women and for rolling out programs to empower women including workshops and podcast shows. 

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