OLYMPIC weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz created ripples on and off the sporting stage in the year that is about the end, more than enough to make her one of the awardees in prestigious The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines for the year 2017.
Diaz created a big bang when she snared the silver medal in the women’s 53-kg weightlifting event in Rio Olympics in 2016.
Just when everybody thought she had already reached her peak and would slowly fade away, she made the country proud again by bagging the bronze medal in the same event of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan last September.
Showing that she remains a force to reckon with in her sport, the proud Zamboanguena followed up her feat with a silver and a bronze medal haul in the 2017 International Weightlifting Federation in November at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.
But it’s not just her achievements in the competitive arena that set her apart from the rest, she showed her big heart by putting up the Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Gym to develop young talents that may want to follow in her footsteps.
“It’s my way of giving back to those who want to chase their dreams and change their lives,” said Diaz, who added that qualified students from poor families get free training as scholars at the gym.
“It’s (TOYM award) something that I would treasure in my life. Thank you TOYM for recognizing what I have done for our country. We can make changes in our own field just like me, I proved to people that I can make it. I don’t promise anything but I will just do my best to bring honor to our country in my own little way.”
Diaz, who is an awardee in the field of sports, joins seven other “outstanding individuals representing various fields that unite us in purpose towards nation building.”
“I implore each and everyone of you to look at your peers. Chances are, one of them may be TOYM material. If you happen to know someone who creates waves of positive change, leads by example and excels in his field, nominate them and join us in the search for the next TOYM awardee,” said Hegem Furigay, the JCPI’s 2017 national president.
Other honorees are Byron Allatog (Government Service-Law Enforcement), Cirilo Javier (Arts and Music), Eugenio Mende (Veterinary Medicine), Ronald Reyes (Education), Jason Roy Sibug (Community Development), Mark Anthony Torres (Government Service) and Chiarra Anne Zambrano (Journalism and Mass Communication).
Now on its 58th year, The TOYM Awards began as a project of JCI Manila, patterned after the TOYM of America Awards, and later adopted by JCI Philippines as an annual project.
It is now a yearly undertaking of JCI Philippines and co-sponsored by PLDT, Gerry Roxas Foundation, Inc. and the TOYM Foundation, Inc.
TOYM has so far awarded a total of 484 individuals who are literally the “Who’s Who” in the areas of agricultural science, arts and humanities, banking business, law, business, community development, educational business, government service, political and social sciences, journalism and mass communication, sports, medicine, economics, science technology and engineering and other fields of endeavor.
The top officers of this year’s TOYM Awards are Furigay, Manny V. Pangilinan, TOYM Foundation chairman; Bienvenido Tantoco III, TOYM Foundation president; Judy Roxas, chairperson of Gerry Roxas Foundation.