Hidilyn Diaz has received some of the pledged cash incentives after becoming the first Filipino athlete to bag an Olympic gold.
Diaz, who just completed quarantine a week after arriving from the Tokyo Games, personally received the P3 million reward from House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero on Thursday, August 5, at Sofitel Manila.
The bonus came days after tycoon Manny Pangilinan’s MVP Sports Foundation also deposited a reward of P10 million to Diaz’s personal account.
“This will inspire other athletes to work harder, to aspire for their dreams,” said Romero.
Diaz bagged the historic gold after ruling the women’s weightlifting 55kg class, clearing 97kg in the snatch and an Olympic record of 127kg in the clean and jerk for a total lift of 224kg, also a Games record.
The feat, which ended the Philippines’ 97-year gold-medal drought in the world’s biggest sporting event, guaranteed Diaz incentives from the government and also prompted the private sector to offer cash bonuses – now running at P52.5 million – on top of other rewards. (LIST: Hidilyn Diaz rakes in millions after historic Olympic gold)
“I can still feel the magnitude of her victory,” said Romero.
But Romero hopes Diaz would eventually be feted with a grand tribute. Due to the country’s COVID-19 health protocols, mass gatherings like a hero’s parade are prohibited.
“I am praying that we could overcome the health crisis we are facing right now so we could give Hidilyn and other Tokyo heroes a fitting tribute,” said Romero. “The queen deserves it.”
“We are really proud of you, Hidilyn,” Romero told Diaz during the simple handover. “You embody the traits of a great warrior. Hoping every Olympics we’ll have a gold medal.”
Diaz, who was also the first Filipina to win an Olympic medal when she won a silver in the 2016 Rio Games, thinks it’s a probable feat,
“Naniniwala ako sa kakayahan ng atletang Filipino. Kaya yan (I believe in the abilities of Filipino athletes. We can do it),” said Diaz. – Rappler.com