- Athlete Hidilyn Diaz was praised by Senator Manny Pacquiao for being a “hero” after winning silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics
- Diaz paid a visit to the Senate on Wednesday as a courtesy call
- Earlier, Pacquiao promised to give a cash reward of “less than 5 million” from his own pocket to Diaz
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino athlete Hidilyn Diaz was praised by Senator Manny Pacquiao for being a “hero” after winning a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics; bringing pride and honor to the country.
A story by Rappler said that Pacquiao recognizes the hardships of the 25-year-old athlete from Zamboanga who finally ended the 20 years of Olympic medal drought in the country.
Diaz, who is now dubbed as the “weightlifter hero”, placed second in the women’s 53-kilogram weightlifting event.
“Alam kong hindi naging madali ang iyong paglalakbay patungo sa iyong kinalulugaran ngayon. Hinarap mo ang mga mabibigat na hamon at muntik nang sumuko. Gayunpaman, nagbunga ang iyong paghihirap,” Pacquiao said in a speech at the Senate on Wednesday.
[“I know your journey towards where you are now had not been easy. You faced big challenges and there are times when you almost gave up. Despite that, you are now enjoying the fruits of your labor.”]
“I personally congratulate you for being triumphant in the Olympics. The Philippines is very proud of you,” Pacquiao added.
Ernie Reyes mentioned in his article for InterAksyon that Diaz paid a visit to the Senate on Wednesday as a courtesy call. The Senate had filed several resolutions commending Diaz.
“Pinatunayan ng ating kababayan na nagmula sa probinsya na may kakayahan tayong lumaban at manalo sa Olympic Games. Pinatunayan niya na ‘di sagabal ang pagsubok sa pagtupad ng mga pangarap,” Pacquiao said.
[“Hidilyn proved that we can compete and win in the Olympic Games. She proved that hardships are never a hindrance to achieving dreams.”]
Earlier, Pacquiao promised to give a cash reward from his own pocket to Diaz, and he did. The senator gave Diaz an undisclosed amount cash incentive, as per a Rappler story.
The athlete has received other incentives from the government due to her achievement.