Lydia de Vega's imprint as a legendary athlete proved far and wide following the outpouring of condolences of sports leaders in the Southeast Asian region.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino joined the country and his fellow sports leaders in mourning, following the passing of the former Asia’s Fastest Woman due to complications of cancer on Wednesday.
“Another sad day for Philippine sports, and although we lost a great icon, she made an imprint on the hearts of all the people she inspired,” Tolentino said on Thursday.
“Her story will always be a success story to all athletes that Filipinos are capable of being in the pedestal specially to those who dream and pursue it.”
Several of Tolentino’s fellow national Olympic committee (NOC) leaders expressed their condolences for the sports icon who in the 1980s and 1990s, put the Southeast Asian region on the world sporting map.
“On behalf of Brunei Darussalam NOC, I would like to convey our sincere condolences to the Philippines NOC and the family of the late Lydia de Vega,” Brunei NOC president Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah told Tolentino in a message.
“Brother President Tolentino, our deepest condolences to the family of the late Lydia de Vega and all Philippines NOC,” said Indonesia Olympic Committee president Raja Sapta Oktohari, who like Tolentino also heads his country’s cycling federation. “May she rest In peace.”
Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand (NOCT), was among the first to convey his condolences.
“We received this news with sadness. On behalf of NOCT, allow us to express our deepest condolences to the POC and the family of the late Lydia de Vega,” Wongsuwan said. “Her legacy continues to live on. May she rest In peace.”
Another NOCT official, vice president Charoen Wattanasin, also sent his condolences to the POC head.
“Dear President Tolentino, with my deepest condolences and on behalf of [the] NOCT, to the family of the late Lydia de Vega and the Philippines NOC, may she rest in peace,” Wattanasin said.
Singapore National Olympic Council president Tan Chuan-Jin said: “Our deepest condolences to the POC and the family of the late Lydia de Vega. Who can’t forget the iconic Queen of the track.”
De Vega’s last public appearance was during the opening ceremony of the 2019 SEA Games at the New Clark City where she bore the Philippine flag together with her fellow sports icons.