Palace says Olympic triumph of Diaz is ''game changer'' in Philippine sports
Malacañang on Tuesday said the Olympic Games victory of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who had a hard time financially during her training, is ''a game changer'' in the Philippine sports.
"This victory is a game changer for Philippine sports. It will be a reason for policy makers to provide bigger support for our athletes because their win is a win of the country," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing in Subic, Zambales.
Roque said the administration will look into the possibility of increasing allowances and benefits of the athletes.
"We will see how this can change as it proves that even with lack of support, we can still win a gold (medal). More will win gold medals if we increase the support we will give to our athletes," he said.
Roque also said athletes can train at New Clark City where there are world class facilities.
Old social media posts of Diaz are circulating where she was asking if she can seek sponsorship from private companies for her Tokyo Olympics journey.
She decided to stay in Malaysia where she trained for more than a year under supervision of trusted technical people.
Diaz on Monday night won Philippines' first Olympic gold in the 55 kilogram division of women's weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics.
Roque hoped the millions of pesos awaiting Diaz once she returns from Japan can compensate for the struggles she faced during training.
"I don't want to announce for now so that she can receive more but the President (Rodrigo Duterte) promised millions to anyone who can win a gold medal and the private sector will also provide millions," he said.
"Hidilyn truly deserves it... She truly made us proud," he added.
Under Republic Act 10699, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will provide a cash incentive of P10 million to gold winners of Olympics.
News reports said Diaz will receive around P30 million and one condominium unit from Megaworld. Ella Dionisio/DMS