Olympic gold medalist and ace weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo donated weightlifting equipment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday, Sept. 23, to inspire other soldier-athletes from pursuing the sport.
Diaz-Naranjo, a Philippine Air Force (PAF) staff sergeant, handed the donations to Maj. Gen. Adriano Perez, the AFP deputy chief of staff for personnel, in a ceremony held at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and in partnership with the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP). She was accompanied by her husband and coach, Julius Naranjo, and SWP President Monico Puentevella.
Among the donations were sets of rubber bumper plates, rubber fractional plates, fractional plates, men and women’s lifting bar, and platform.
“These new weightlifting equipment shall further enhance the fitness facilities of the General Headquarters and major service special service offices,” Perez said.
“Hopefully, this endeavor shall pave the way for more Olympic medals courtesy of our soldier-athletes,” he added.
Through the donations, Diaz-Naranjo and Puentevella expressed desire to integrate weightlifting into the joint AFP – Philippine National Police (PNP) – Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Olympics, its own version of the world-recognized sporting event.
The donations will be distributed to the AFP Office of the Special Service (OSPS) and the special service units of the PAF, Philippine Navy (PN), and Philippine Army (PA).
Diaz is the first Filipino to win an Olympic gold medal during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.
She is currently assigned with the PAF civil-military group stationed at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. She was placed on Detached Service with AFP OSPS and is part of the national pool of athletes under the supervision of the SWP.