Senators race to file resolutions hailing Hidilyn Diaz for 1st Olympic gold
MANILA, Philippines — Several senators are pushing to give the Senate’s commendation to weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz after she clinched the country’s first gold medal in the Olympics.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, as well as Senators Lito Lapid and Risa Hontiveros filed separate Senate resolutions on Tuesday commending Diaz for bringing honor and glory to the country.
“Hidilyn Diaz deserves to be exalted as one of the country’s most accomplished athletes after earning several medals in different international sporting events,” Sotto said in his Senate Resolution No. 793.
“[H]er international achievements are noteworthy of her prowess in the sport of weightlifting which is known to many as a male dominated sport,” he added.
In total, the Zamboanga-born athlete lifted a record-setting combined weight of 224kg.
“Her historic victory at the 2020 Olympic Games will greatly inspire and guide the Filipinos in general and the youth in particular that no dream is unreachable and no goal is unattainable as long as one devotes himself or herself to the achievement of that dream and goal through hard-work, perseverance, and sacrifice,” Sotto went on.
Aside from her historic victory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Diaz previously clinched a silver medal in the women’s 53-kg weightlifting division at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
She also won a gold medal in the women’s 53-kg weightlifting division at the 18th Asian Games in 2018 and a gold medal in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting division at the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019.
“Diaz has brought joy, honor and pride to the country and has lifted the hopes of an entire nation amid the uncertainties and challenges that we face today,” Drilon, meanwhile said in his Senate Resolution No. 799.
“[D]espite being linked in 2019 to alleged destabilization efforts, Diaz remained focused on her goal of bringing honor for her beloved country,” the minority leader added.
In 2019, Diaz’s name appeared in the so-called oust-Duterte matrix illustrating an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. Diaz had laughed off her inclusion in the alleged ouster plot.
Drilon hailed Diaz for her historic win that ended the country’s 97-year quest for a gold medal in the Olympics.
Born into poverty, Diaz has given “renewed inspiration to Filipinos that determination and perseverance can lift people out of poverty,” according to Drilon.
‘A Filipina did that’
For Hontiveros, she said Diaz’ victory in the Tokyo Olympics has cemented her place in the country’s “pantheon of legendary athletes.”
The senator noted Diaz’ humble beginnings of “lifting plastic pipes and homemade concrete weights cast in old tin cans,” saying this should “serve as a reminder of every Filipina’s resilience in the face of adversity, perseverance despite uncertainty, and strength against all odds.”
“The first Filipino Olympic champion is a woman. During one of the most difficult moments in world history, a Filipina did that against all odds— amid the pandemic, despite limited resources, and in spite of unnecessary political controversy. 97 years was worth the wait,” Hontiveros said in her resolution.
“The grace and dignity with which Hidilyn Diaz rose above the challenges laid in her path show that girls with dreams become women with vision,” she added.
Lapid likewise lauded Diaz for her triumph, saying she not only set a new Olympic record but has “also taken the podium from the reigning Olympic champion and record holder from powerhouse China.”
“[T]he exhibited perseverance and dedication for the record setting performance of the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist is a testament to the indomitable Filipino might and spirit,” he said in his resolution.
“[T]his victory of Diaz deserves to be recognized and commended for bringing pride and inspiration to the Filipino people and for showing to the world the unrelenting spirit of Filipino excellence,” he added.
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