Press Release
July 27, 2021

Senate commends Hidilyn Diaz for winning first-ever Olympic gold for Philippines

The Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution commending and congratulating Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz for winning the first-ever gold medal for the Philippines in the 32nd World Olympics currently being held in Tokyo, Japan.

The chamber adopted Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 739 sponsored by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III in consideration of SRNs 794, 795, 796, 797, 798, 799, 800, 801, 802, 803, and 804.

Sotto, in his sponsorship speech, said Diaz's sacrifices and self-discipline in achieving her Olympic goal were beyond compare as she trained and lived in exile in Malaysia since February 2020 when the Malaysian government imposed its movement control order in April 2020 to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

"She's the epitome that everything is achievable if you focus and work hard to reach your dreams no matter how high or impossible it may seem," Sotto said.

According to the Senate President, Diaz deserves to be exalted as one of the country's most accomplished athletes after earning several medals in different international sporting events: a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, gold medal in the 2018 Jakarta Asian games, and several other medals in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and other international games she participated.

Among Diaz's other memorable victories and achievements were: a gold medal in the women's 55kg event at the Roma 2020 World Cup in Rome, Italy; bronze medal each in the 2017 and 2019 World Championships; silver medal in the 2019 Asian Championship; gold medal in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila; gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games; bronze medal in the 2007 SEA games in Thailand; 10th place finish at the 2006 Asian Games in the 52-kilogram class; two gold medals and one silver medal in the Asian Youth/Junior Weightlifting Championship held in Jeonju, South Korea representing the Universidad de Zamboanga.

Sotto said the historic victory of Diaz 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 and perseverance and sacrifice.

"Hidilyn's win is being celebrated not only because it is historic as the first-ever gold Olympic medal in almost a century, but also because of the fact that it happened in the middle of a pandemic when every move is a struggle and when we all needed a ray of light. Thus, her success during these tough times make it sweeter not only for her but all the Filipinos all over the world," the Senate President added.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, in his co-sponsorship speech, said Diaz's victory came at the right time when hope is in short supply, lifting and raising the spirits of 110 million people battered by the pandemic.

"Hidilyn had done hers, it is time for all of us in the government to do the heavy lifting now. For that is the only way to honor her," Recto added.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri also commended and congratulated Diaz for a job well done not only for herself but for the country.

"She's now in the chronicles of Philippine history as the first-ever Olympic gold medalist. She will be remembered throughout the ages and she will not be forgotten. The beauty of this, Mr. President, is she won this gold medal in spite of all the hardships she had to go through," Zubiri added.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon also praised Diaz for providing inspiration to the Filipino people, proving that there is hope no matter how difficult life is, as long as there is perseverance.

Other senators who delivered their co-sponsorship speeches were Senators Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, Pia Cayetano, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Francis Tolentino, and Joel Villanueva.

Senators Nancy Binay, Manuel "Lito" Lapid, Imee Marcos and Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao also filed their respective resolution commending and congratulating Diaz.

Zubiri, before the chamber adopted the resolution, moved to make all senators as co-authors and co-sponsors of the resolution.

The Senate also adopted two resolutions urging the National Historical Commission to consider the creation or establishment of a marker for the 2020 Olympic gold medalists and a resolution for the issuance of a commemorative stamp in honor of the momentous event.

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