As promised, the MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) gave the country’s gold medal winner Hidylin Diaz her P10 million reward following her historic feat in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Diaz met virtually with MVPSF chairman Manny V. Pangilinan and foundation president Al Panlilio Friday, Thursday June 29 – exactly three days after she ruled the 55-kilogram category in women’s weightlifting in the Olympics.
The incentive amounting to P10 million has been deposited to the Diaz’s personal account.
“Thank you so much, Sir MVP (Pangilinan), Sir Al, and Sir VPV (Ricky P. Vargas). Thank you sa support na binigay niyo sa Team HD and sa akin at sa pagtitiwalang binigay ninyo,” said Diaz as former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas also attended the online meeting.
“Malaking bagay po ito sa amin. Lalo na last year na shaky yung life, ang daming pangyayari dahil sa COVID, hindi nyo kami iniwan.”
Diaz won the gold medal in the 55-kilogram category in women’s weightlifting in record fashion as she set an Olympic mark of 224kgs total lift that combined 127kgs in clean and jerk – also an Olympic record – and 97kgs in snatch.
She defeated China’s world record holder Liao Qiuyun, who finished with a total of 223kgs following her 97kgs in snatch and 126kgs in clean and jerk for silver medal, while Kazakhstan’s Chinshanlo Zulfiya took the bronze medal with a total of 213kgs – 90kgs in snatch and 123kgs in clean and jerk.
Since 2011, the MVPSF has been supporting national athletes from different National Sports Associations, providing them with financial assistance for training, foreign exposures and personal allowances.
When the Zamboanga City native earned a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, MVPSF was already supporting her through the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) – and that support continued up to the Tokyo Olympics.
Together with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the MVPSF provided financial assistance to Diaz in her preparation for the Summer Games as she and her ‘Team HD’ trained in Malaysia for more than a year.
That is why it was all worth it for the MVPSF.
“Umiyak kaming lahat nung nabuhat mo yung 127 kilograms,” said Panlilio when he spoke to Diaz during the one-hour Zoom meeting.
“We are very proud of you for winning our first Olympic Gold. You are now part of Philippine sports history. We’re hoping for more golds this Olympics. The rest of the Philippine team competing were really inspired by your performance,” added Panlilio, who is also the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
During the meeting, Pangilinan informed Diaz that the foundation is planning to send Diaz’s family to Manila so they could be with the Olympian, who is currently in mandatory quarantine in the Sofitel Hotel.
“Your parents are in Zamboanga right? Maybe we can have the entire family here. We’ll take care of the plane fare and accommodation,” Pangilinan, whose MVPSF has helped other athletes, said.
Diaz can’t help but be emotional with the offer of Pangilinan.
“Dati, nung sobrang down ako, hindi niyo kami pinabayaan,” said Diaz. “Thank you so much sa support. Nung humingi kami ng tulong, nandoon kayo. And tuluy-tuloy po yun tulong na binibigay niyo.”
“Maraming salamat po sa tiwalang binibigay ng MVPSF sa akin at sa Team HD.”
Pangilinan’s parting shot to Diaz?
“Basta walang iwanan. We look forward to seeing you personally. Thank you HD.”
Other MVPSF officials were also present during the meeting, including SBP and MVPSF Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Ryan Gregorio, MVPSF’s Jude Turcuato, Art Aro, Leandro Aure and Maita David, Chinese coach Gao Kaiwen, strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo, sports nutritionist Jeaneth Aro and sports psychologist Dr. Karen Trinidad.