Olympic medalists Diaz, Marcial get awards from AFP
MANILA, Philippines—Olympic medalists Hidilyn Diaz (gold) and Eumir Marcial (bronze) on Wednesday (Aug. 25) were conferred with awards by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The two athletes are active enlisted personnel of the Philippine Air Force.
Sergeant Hidilyn Diaz, the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist, received the Outstanding Achievement Medal with Second Bronze Anahaw Leaf, for winning at the women’s 55kg category for weightlifting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
She was also given a plaque of recognition, the Philippine flag, and a token from the military leadership.
“What Diaz has done was to bring hope and inspiration to millions of our fellow Filipinos, who up until this day continue to battle against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic,” AFP vice chief Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria was quoted as saying.
Sergeant Eumir Marcial, who brought home a bronze medal from the men’s boxing middleweight division in the Tokyo Olympics, was awarded a Chief of Staff, AFP Commendation Medal and Ribbon.
The AFP also recognized other Olympians who bagged medals—Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam who both delivered silver medals for the Philippine boxing team.
Paalam recently joined the Philippine Navy with a rank of apprentice seaman.
The AFP has a program of direct enlistment that enables athletes to join its ranks, allowing them to have access to training facilities and be included in the AFP regular payroll.
There are currently 128 military athletes and coaches who compete in various sport events, the AFP said.
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