Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz can expect “millions” worth of incentives from President Duterte following her epic triumph at the Tokyo Games.
According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, Diaz deserved the reward after she brought pride and honor to the country after winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold.
Roque recalled the President offered huge incentives to the athletes who will win an Olympic gold before leaving for the Tokyo Games. The incentive will reach “millions” but Roque declined to give the exact amount for now.
“Iuukit po natin sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas ang pangalan ng Hidilyn Diaz at ayaw ko munang ianunsiyo dahil baka mapalaki pa. Pero milyun-milyon po ang pinangako ng Presidente para doon sa magkakamit ng gintong medalya at ang pribadong sektor ay naglaan din ng milyun-milyon (We will carve the name of Hidilyn Diaz in Philippine history. I don’t want to announce it yet because it might grow bigger. But the President promised millions for those who will win gold medal. The private sector has also offered millions),” Roque said during a televised press briefing.
“Ayaw ko lang pong sabihin ang exact figure dahil nais ko pang tumaas kaysa bumaba doon sa figure na alam ko ‘no dahil Hidilyn truly deserves it (I don’t want want to say the exact figure because I want the figure to be higher than lower because Hidilyn truly deserves it),” he said.
The Palace earlier congratulated Diaz after she made history when she became the first Filipino athlete to win an Olympic gold, saying the entire nation was proud of her.
Diaz, 30, clinched the Olympic gold after winning the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting competition during the Tokyo Games Monday, July 26. Diaz is a 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist from Zamboanga.
Roque said Diaz’s journey was like the journey of other ordinary Filipinos who persevere and work hard to reach for their goals. He added that Diaz’s victory was a triumph for all Filipinos.
“Hindi po mababayaran ng salapi ang tagumpay ni Hidilyn pero hayaan naman nating ipakita ang ating pagmamahal sa kaniya sa pamamagitan nang pagbigay ng hindi lang po ng congratulations kung hindi pabuya sa kaniyang mga nakamit (The money cannot repay the triumph of Hidilyn but let us show our love to her by giving not only congratulations but also reward for her feat),” he said.
Roque also pushed for an increase in the financial support for Filipino athletes following the Olympic win of Diaz. He admitted that financial aid to athletes seemed insufficient, citing that some are given allowance at minimum wage level.
If the support for the athletes will be increased, Roque expressed confidence that more Filipinos could win medals in international competitions.
“I think itong victory na ito (I think the victory) is also a game changer for Philippine sports,” Roque said about Diaz.
“Ito po iyong dahilan siguro kung—dahilan para pag-isipan ng ating mga policymakers na kinakailangan talaga maglaan nang mas malaking suporta sa ating mga atleta dahil iyong kanila namang mga panalo ay panalo ng buong Pilipinas at hindi lang ng ating mga manlalaro (This is a reason for our policymakers to allocate bigger support for our athletes because their victory is a victory for the entire Philippines, not just the athletes),” he said.