DON’T be surprised to see Hidilyn Diaz in business attire roaming around the campus of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
The 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic silver medalist has decided to return to school and finish her college degree through a scholarship grant given by the school.
After taking up Computer Science at Unibersidad de Zamboanga for two years, Diaz said she had to set her studies aside in 2010 to focus on her training, but she has always planned to finish her studies and possibly go into business by building her own gym once her athletic career is done.
But with CSB’s grant and the school's proximity to the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Diaz finds herself in a perfect position to continue her education without sacrificing her training.
“Sabi ko, hindi forever na maging atleta. Kailangan may degree,” said Diaz in a roundtable interview with reporters at the Vatel Restaurant Penthouse in Hotel Benilde Maison de la Salle.
“Since kailangan kong matuto sa business at kailangan ko mapalago ‘yung pera na nakuha ko, puwede ko rin ma-apply ‘yung natutunan ko at para makatulong sa paglaki ng weightlifting sa Pilipinas,” added the Pinay weightlifter, who began her schooling last Tuesday.
Diaz also assured her studies won’t be interfering with her training for the 2020 Tokyo Games where she is bidding to become the first Filipino to win an Olympic gold medal.
“Gusto ko ipagpatuloy ‘yung pagte-training ko para sa 2020,” said Diaz.
CSB athletic director Stephen Fernandez said the school vowed its full support to Diaz, not only in her training in preparation for the Tokyo Games but also for other international competitions.
“We are fully supporting Hidilyn in her events especially international tournaments. We will definitely be accommodating that,” said Fernandez, no stranger to the Olympics having competed in the 1988 Games as a taekwondo athlete.