CEBU CITY, Philippines — The country’s first Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz gets engaged with her strength and conditioning trainer Julius Naranjo, a few days after Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino started convincing her to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
On Saturday, the 30-year-old Diaz, who won the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics in July, said yes when Naranjo, her long-time boyfriend proposed to her.
In separate Instagram posts of the couple, they announced their engagement and their followers, fans, friends and family are over the moon with excitement.
Diaz pens her engagement story in her IG account, Saturday, October 16.
“It’s YES! It was a magical moment with @imjulius .
I’m grateful to God that He sent Julius into my life, he make my life easy 😀, alam ng iba kung ano mga sinasakripisyo niya para maabot namin ang pangarap na Ginto sa Olympics together with #TeamHD, nun laro kinilig at masaya ako kasi siya mismo nagsabi God is the center of our relationship, kaya walang duda magYeYES ako dahil swerte ako may isang Julius nagmamahal, nagintindi , at sumoporta sakin. Thank you sa lahat ng kasabwat ni Julius, magaling po kayo naging meaningful ang gabi dahil sa inyo.”
While her fiancé wrote a simple caption with in his IG post, “There’s a first for everything.”
Naranjo, who is also a weightlifter in Guam, have known each other since 2017.
The proposal was very timely as Diaz is set to fly to Malaysia to kickstart her training for the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Tashkent in December.
Amidst the congratulatory messages and well wishes for Diaz, there is a sense of uncertainty for her competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
On Thursday, Tolentino hosted a send-off dinner for Diaz and Naranjo at the Grandmaster Hotel in Tagaytay City before they would fly to Malacca on Saturday.
“I wanted to tease her [Diaz],” Tolentino said in a press statement. “I am encouraging her to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympics, but she hasn’t decided yet.”
“I believe she will still be formidable at that time ,” Tolentino added. “And there will be other weightlifters like Rose Jean Ramos, who could qualify for the Olympics.”
Diaz has not formally announced that she will be defending her gold medal in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
After winning the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics, Diaz already mentioned that she’s unsure of campaigning in the quadrennial meet.
Despite the speculations, only Diaz can answer the questions regarding her future in weightlifting now that she’s officially engaged.
In the meantime, Diaz is cherishing her ‘magical moment’ with Naranjo, and so are the people online, who are celebrating and congratulating the couple for their engagement.