A CONGRESSIONAL medal of distinction was conferred Wednesday on Hidilyn Diaz who won a silver medal in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Diaz received the award from lawmakers at the House plenary hall during a courtesy call to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. The 25-year-old Diaz, who hails from Zamboanga City, was congratulated by her congressman, Rep. Celso Lobregat.
1-Pacman Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero said the House raised an additional P1.4-million cash incentive for Diaz who brought home an Olympic medal, the first for the country in 20 years.
Romero said each lawmaker contributed at least P5,000 from their salaries to reward Diaz.
Diaz also received a copy of House Resolution 175 honoring her silver medal finish. The resolution consolidated at least 35 proposed measures authored by about 100 House members.
HR 175 was principally authored by Alvarez and Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte. Romero said he was optimistic that the country’s athletes will duplicate Diaz’s feat soon.
“Expect many of our athletes to make serious attempts to bring home international competition honors soon. They will surely draw inspiration from what Diaz has been reaping so far,” Romero, one of the authors to many resolutions adopted by the House on Diaz’s won in Rio Olympics, said.
“This achievement of Hidilyn Diaz brought great pride and honor to the country as it strives to produce world-class athletes,” Romero said.
Romero said Diaz earned a bronze medal in the 2015 World Championships in Houston, Texas; a gold and a silver in 2015 and 2016, respectively, in the Asian championships and two silver medals and a bronze in various campaigns in the Southeast Asian games.
Meanwhile, PBA Party-list Reps. Mark Aeron Sambar and Jericho Nograles also commended Diaz’s head coach Alfonsito Ardente and the team that trained the lady weightlifter.