Presidential Guest House, Panacan, Davao City
August 11, 2016
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte praised 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz as he presented the Filipina Olympian before the media in a press conference after her recent victory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The President called Diaz a heroine for bringing pride and joy to the country after many years of Filipinos competing in the prestigious sports event. But he admitted that upon watching Diaz’s performance at the Olympics, he felt worried.
“I was really scared when she was struggling to pull the weights. And she was able to do it, I almost shouted. Alam ko na we’re nearing, we’re fighting for the silver medal,” President Duterte said.
“It is with great pride and honor to share the honor with her,” he added.
During their meeting prior to the press conference, President Duterte personally handed the PhP 5 million cash incentive to Diaz, which is part of the benefits that she would be receiving from her successful win. This incentive is stated in the Republic Act 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Law.
In addition to this, President Duterte said that he added PhP 2 million to the Filipina Olympian’s reward. According to Diaz, she would use the money to buy land for her family in Zamboanga City and to build a gym for weightlifters like her and for other athletes.
Diaz placed second in the women’s 53-kg Weightlifting Division at the 2016 Rio Olympics. This is her third stint in the Games, following the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.