The Filipino athlete’s quest for Olympic glory received a massive boost, as Summit Natural Drinking Water re-echoed its staunch commitment at the #ThirstForTheGold virtual press conference, held last Friday, April 30.
Over 60 participants composed of Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) members, sports writers and media outlets-including Ateneo de Manila University’s Radyo Katipunan 87.9 FM- witnessed the brand reemphasize its unwavering support behind Hidilyn Diaz and EJ Obiena’s respective Tokyo 2020 campaigns.
“For 16 years, Summit has partnered with the POC ensuring Filipino athletes receive proper hydration. We will all rally behind them. We will ignite Filipino pride as our athletes face new summits. It’s an honor to be in one team with all of you,” expressed Asia Brewery Marketing Manager Jill Villanueva in her opening remarks.
Not resting on her laurels after a successful stint at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Uzbekistan, Hidilyn Diaz shared how despite numerous challenges to her fourth Olympic bid she remains undeterred.
“Ang dami nang nangyari dahil sa pandemic. Ang dami nang pinagdaanan, pero kaya parin natin lumaban. Para sa akin, ginagamit ako ni God para maging inspirasyon sa maraming Pilipino, lalo na ngayon.”
“Binalikan ko lang yung ‘why’ ko. Mahal ko ang weightlifting. Ginagawa ko to para sa Pilipinas. Ginagawa ko to para maging inspirasyon sa kabataan. Ayoko lang talaga mag give-up,” continued Diaz, who is deep into the last stretch of her training in Malaysia—all while taking online classes to complete her college degree.
Joining the call from Italy, where he continues to train under the watchful eye of coach Vitaly Petrov, first-time Olympian EJ Obiena was ecstatic about qualifying for the games- yet remained focused on the larger task at hand.
“This has always been a dream of mine. I feel as strong as I’ve ever been. Everybody qualifying is a competitor. I need to be the hungriest, come that day. Aim for that gold, thirst for gold—that has to be my mindset.”
“There’s a lot of stress and expectations. But I have a coach and psychologist guiding me. I trust them that come that day, I’ll be ready. Weather, tough competition—whatever—I’ll deal with it,” affirmed the Asian Athletics Championship pole vault record holder.
“It’s the Olympics—the biggest sporting event an athlete can be in. All I could ask for is a shot. I won’t waste this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
After voicing their appreciation for all those in attendance, both Filipino Olympians shared inspiring messages for their countrymen, to conclude the hour-long event.
“Patuloy niyo lang po suportahan kami. Importante po sa amin yung mga prayers at words of encouragement. Kaya ’to, wag lang tayo sumuko,” mentioned Diaz.
“For everyone in the Philippines, I know it’s tough but things are going to get better. I truly believe that. Hopefully me and Ate Hidi, can bring some good news come August. We’re going to do our best—that’s a promise,” assured Obiena.