Hero’s welcome awaits Olympian silver medalist Diaz in hometown Zamboanga

Hero’s welcome awaits Olympian silver medalist Diaz in hometown Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA CITY –- A hero’s welcome awaits Rio Olympics silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz here as the city prepares for her return.

Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said preparations are underway for the ceremonies scheduled on Monday (Aug. 15) as Diaz, a resident of Barangay Mampang, is set to arrive here on Sunday evening.

Diaz, 25, bagged the silver medal on Sunday (Brazil time) in the women’s 58-kilogramn weightlifting category in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She is arriving together with her coach, Alfonsito Aldenete, also a Zamboangueño.

Also included in the welcome ceremonies is Nestor Colonia for his valiant performance which placed him 16th out of a field of 19 weightlifters in the men’s category, Salazar said.

Diaz will receive PHP500,000 from the local government as per local ordinance granting cash incentives to athletes with podium finishes.

With Diaz’s win, she became the first Filipina and Mindanaoan to win an Olympic medal.

She also broke the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought, and gave the country its third silver medal. Teofilo Garcia, Jr/PNA/northboundasia.com