How Hidilyn Battled Mental Breakdown While Preparing For Olympics Under COVID Lockdown

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MANILA – Olympian Hidilyn Diaz said on Thursday, like many athletes, that she suffered a ‘mental breakdown’ when the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were to be postponed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic .

In an interview with ANC’s “Headstart”, Diaz said that athletes usually train 7-9 times a week and are told they suddenly can’t do it was “nakakabaliw” or chatting. madness. Then at the postponement, Diaz mimed a frozen reaction.

“Nu’ng sinabi na ‘yung Olympics ma-report, umiiyak talaga ako, tapos’ yung coaches ko naaawa. Pero good thing nandyan sila, pinakinggan nila ako at sinabi nila na we will stay, we will be there, we will support you, a- she said, fighting back tears.

“Malaking bagay ‘yun sa akin kasi nga’ yun ‘yung downtime ko kasi ilang beses akong nag-prepare. Good thing hindi nila ako iniwan, malaking bagay yun sa akin kasi kung wala sila, baka hindi ko ma-survive yung doon. “

(When we announced that the Olympics would be postponed, I really cried and my coaches took pity on me. But it’s a good thing that they were there, they listened to me, and they said that we would stay, we would be there, we will support you. It was a big problem for me because it was my moment of rest because I had prepared for this several times. Fortunately they did not have me. It was big for me because without them I couldn’t ‘I didn’t survive.)

Postponing the Games meant 15 more months of preparation, and Diaz recalled thinking, “Akala ko matatapos na. Kaya ko pa ba? (I thought it was almost over. Can I still do it?)

This photo taken on May 21, 2021 shows Olympic weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines competing in a workout session at Jasin in the Malaysian city of Malacca. Mohd Rasfan, AFP / file

She’s grateful that her team includes a sports psychologist she calls Doc Karen, who advised her to take it day to day instead of planning the entire 15 months.

“Ginawa ko, day after day, grateful ako, day after day productive ako, day after day naghahanap ako ng paraan: nagluluto, nagmi-meet,” she said, referring to her involvement in “Project Steady”.

(What I did was day after day I was grateful, day after day I became productive, day after day I found ways: to cook, to get together.)

And then, with the confinements, she also had time to return to fulfill another of her dreams: a college diploma.

“Nag-aral din ako. Sabi ko, now can study online so mag-aaral ako para hindi ako magda-drama after training. So after training, nag-aaral ako para wala akong time para mag-drama sa gabi “she said.

(I also studied. I said there were studies online now, so I’m going to study so as not to cry after training. So after training, I studied to not have the time to cry at night.)

While she said that she turned to studies so as not to have time to “do theater” after training, she also revealed that she had to stop studying at the College of Saint -Bénilde in 2019 to focus on her sport when her coach said her performance was not good.

“Sabi niya, kailangan kong mag-stop kasi yung Olympics, once there was a chance to qualify for the mag, makapaglaro, so ibigay mo na lahat, magsakripisyo ka na,” she said.

“So ako, kahit masakit kasi gusto ko ring makapagtapos ng pag-aaral, gusto kong magkaroon ng degree, ginive up ko yun para sa Olympics. Worth it naman,” she said.

(He said I had to stop because at the Olympics you only have one chance to qualify, to play, so give it your all, sacrifice. So for me, even if it hurts because I want to really study, I want to graduate, I gave that up for the Olympics. It was worth it.)

With a gold medal now secured – a first for the Philippines – Diaz was all smiles as she said she was only two terms away from graduation.

“Tatapusin ko ito to isa iyon sa mga goal ko after the Olympics,” she said.

(I’m going to finish this and that’s one of my goals after the Olympics.)

ANC, ANC Top, ANC Exclusives, Hidilyn Diaz, Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics, Olympics, Mental Health


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