PH officials congratulate Rio silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/08 August) — Praises have poured for the first Olympic medalist from Mindanao from the country’s officialdom.

Hidilyn Diaz, of Zamboanga City, bagged a silver medal in weightlifting at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ending the Philippines’ medal drought since 1996.

“On behalf of a proud nation, we congratulate Hidilyn Diaz for winning the Philippines’ first medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  The inspiring story of Diaz is the story of Filipinos,” Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement Monday.

Diaz entered the women’s 53-kg weightlifting competition at the Rio Games on Sunday. Her win made her the first Filipino to win a medal since boxer Onyok Velasco’s 1996 win, and the first Filipina to land on the

Andanar said Diaz’s triumph “is about overcoming shyness but for an inspired nation, her road to Rio is a journey of grit, patience and determination which ended a 20-year long medal drought for the Philippines.”

“Congratulations, Hidilyn, our first Olympic medalist from Mindanao.  Mabuhay ka at ipagmamalaki ka naming lahat!” he added.

Vice President Leni Robredo congratulated Diaz, too.

“Pinahanga mo kami sa iyong husay, pagsisikap at determinasyon sa gitna ng iyong mga pinagdaanang pagsubok. You serve as an inspiration to every Filipino and a reminder that no challenge is too heavy for a Filipina woman to overcome,” Robredo said in statement Monday.

Senators also hailed Diaz for her feat. In their Twitter posts, Senators Sonny Angara, Grace Poe and Nancy Binay congratulated and thanked the weightlifter for ending the country’s medal drought.

Binay noted that Diaz is the first Filipina to win an Olympic medal. (MindaNews)