The province of Negros Occidental on Friday conferred Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz the title of “adopted daughter” to acknowledge her unprecedented feat in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The distinction was given to the Zamboangueña weightlifter by virtue of a resolution passed by the Provincial Board in a special session on Thursday afternoon.
“Thank you for recognizing me. I hope I can inspire the youth and the Filipino people while we are in a pandemic,” said Diaz, who personally received the commendation in rites held at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall here.
Diaz said she has fond memories of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental as she saw action in the National Open in 2004 and the Southeast Asian Games in 2005 held in this city.
“Dito po ako nag-start din. Thankful po ako na na-adopt ako dito sa Negros (This is also where I started. I am thankful that I am adopted here in Negros),” she said.
Diaz gave the Philippines the elusive Olympic gold after winning the women’s 55-kg. weightlifting competition at the Tokyo International Forum in Japan on July 26.
“Gusto ko lang po’ng sabihin na totoo po ito, totoo po ito’ng gold medal. Ito po ang realidad nga kaya nating manalo. Kailangan lang natin mag-dream high. We just have to trust God na hindi niya tayo papabayaan (I just want to say that this is real, the gold medal is real. It is real that we can win. We just need to dream high. We just have to trust God that He will not fail us),” she added.
“The entire Filipino nation is proud of the achievement of Ms. Hidilyn Diaz for bringing pride and glory to the Philippines. The Province of Negros Occidental acknowledges the hard work, determination and focus of Ms. Diaz to win the title,” the resolution said.
Diaz received a copy of the resolution from former governor Rafael Coscolluela and Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz II, in the presence of Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella, former mayor and congressman of Bacolod City; and strength and conditioning coach-boyfriend Julius Naranjo.
Puentevella said that Diaz and Naranjo are staying in the city and the province for a three-day visit and will fly back to Manila on Sunday. (PNA)