(UPDATE) The Senate on Tuesday approved resolutions commending Hidilyn Diaz for bagging the Philippines' first gold medal in the Olympic Games, saying her victory brought pride and inspiration to the pandemic-stricken country.
At least 12 senators including Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, and Senators Risa Hontiveros, Lito Lapid, Richard Gordon, and Imee Marcos have filed resolutions congratulating Diaz, who set an Olympic record for lifting a combined weight of 224 kilograms in the women's 55-kilogram weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Olympics.
The chamber also adopted resolutions, introduced by Gordon, seeking the issuance of a commemorative stamp and the establishment of a public marker to honor the Philippines' first Olympic gold.
"[Diaz's] historic victory at the 2020 Olympic Games will greatly inspire and guide the Filipinos in general and the youth in particular that no dream is unreachable and no goal is unattainable as long as one devotes himself or herself to the achievement of that dream and goal through hard work, perseverance, and sacrifice," Sotto said in his resolution.
Hontiveros, who chairs the Senate Committee Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, said Diaz's win would serve as an inspiration for women to beat the odds.
"The grace and dignity with which Hidilyn Diaz rose above the challenges laid in her path show that girls with dreams become women with vision,” she added.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who chairs the Senate national defense committee, suggested that Diaz be commissioned as an officer of the Philippine Air Force. The weightlifter is currently a sargeant at the air force.
“Such a commission – either as a reserve or regular officer – is not just in recognition of her extraordinary feat, but also in recognition of her great potential to provide a good example to her fellow soldiers both as an athlete and as a leader,” he added.
Apart from the resolutions congratulating Diaz, Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Sonny Angara, and Francis Tolentino also filed a resolution seeking to create the Philippine Senate Medal of Honor to recognize athletes, uniformed personnel, scientists, youth and civilians "for their extraordinary service and invaluable contributions to nation-building."
Diaz on Monday ended the 97-year long wait for a gold medal. It was also the Philippines' 11th medal in the Olympics since it first participated in the quadrennial games in 1924.
Prior to winning gold in Tokyo, Diaz also clinched a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, making her the second Filipino athlete with multiple Olympic victories after swimmer Teofilo Yldefonzo.