Rio Olympic Games silver medalist for weightlifting, AW1C Hidilyn F. Diaz will be presented the “Outstanding Achievement Medal” by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday.
Diaz will also be given a “Plaque of Recognition” for her “extraordinary achievement and distinguished service rendered as the first female Filipino athlete to win a silver medal,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
The awarding ceremony will be held at the GHQ Canopy Area, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City at 7:30 a.m.
“Airwoman First Class Diaz brought national pride which merited public recognition of the highest order for her accomplishment as the country’s lone athlete-delegate to the said international event to win a medal for the Philippines,” Diaz’s Outstanding Achievement Medal’s citation read.
The silver medalist was given a hero’s welcome by the Philippine Air Force on Thursday in an awarding ceremony at the Villamor Air Base.
She was also promoted to AW1C, a step higher than her former rank of AW2C.
AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya also extended his warmest congratulations to Diaz for her “accomplishment that inspired admiration and respect from the men and women in the military”.
“Diaz’s world-class achievement earned recognition for the country. I extend my congratulations to her and to the other soldier-athletes who continue to work hard in their own fields to bring honor and pride to the AFP and to the Filipinos,” he added.
The 25-year-old Diaz, a native of Zamboanga City, won her silver medal in the women’s 58 kg. class event which was won by Chinese Hsu Shu-ching of Taiwan via a record-breaking fashion.
In the snatch event, she only tallied 88 kg. but recovered in the clean and jerk lift, successfully lifting a 112 kg. lift in her second attempt, for a total of 200 kg., against Hsu.
Her silver medal win on August 7 was the Philippines’ first Olympic medal in 20 years and the first ever for a Filipina.
The last time the Philippines won a medal in the Olympics was in 1996 when Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco competed and won a silver medal in the light-flyweight category in boxing at the Atlanta Olympic Games.