Presidential Guest House, Panacan, Davao City
August 11, 2016
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte met with Hidilyn Diaz in a courtesy call as the athlete arrived in the country after her recent victory of a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.
A native of Zamboanga City, Diaz is the first ever Filipina to win a silver medal in the Games, besting out other athletes from around the world in the women’s 53-kg Weightlifting Division. She ended the country’s 20-year medal drought after Onyok Velasco placed second in the Boxing Division of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
With her triumph, Diaz would receive various incentives, including a house and lot and PhP 5 million cash reward. Aside from this, she got an additional PhP 2 million from the President himself.
“If we just put in the discipline, in any field… with a little help from the national government in the budget, we’d be able to get some miracles and surprises along the way,” President Duterte said. “The honor is there, go for it. It will be a long quest, it will be a tedious one, but I said it, if you can bring honor to the country, I’d be happy,” he added.
President Duterte also emphasized the need to develop sports in the country, saying there is a good plan of putting different facilities that would train aspiring athletes across the nation.
“We’ll put it out somewhere in Negros and Zamboanga, and maybe on grassroots. There we can get the talent in other places because historically, it has always been Manila, was the epicenter of all our athletes there,” he said.
If plans to further develop sports would push through, according to the President, it would attract many people and would somehow give others a break to the trainings itself. It would also encourage everybody, especially the youth, to train for any sports they want.
Present during the courtesy call are Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez and Diaz’s parents, Eduardo and Emelita Diaz.