Diaz accorded a hero's welcome in Zamboanga City


Posted at Aug 12 2016 05:21 PM

Silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz greets supporters during the motorcade organized by the Zamboanga City government on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz was given a rousing welcome at her hometown of Zamboanga City where she arrived Friday afternoon.

Diaz was the first Filipino to win an Olympic medal since Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco won a silver in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. She was also the first Mindanaoan to bag an Olympic medal.

Following her arrival at the airport, she was brought to the Zamboanga City Hall via a motorcade together with her teammate, Nestor Colonia.

Silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia wave to the crowd. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Also accompanying her are her parents.

Fellow Zamboanguenos waved at her along the way, cheering for her success.

At the Zamboanga City Hall, the local government awarded her a check worth P500,000 for her efforts in bagging the silver medal in Brazil.

Diaz has already received P5 million and an additional P2 million from President Duterte as incentive in bringing honor to the country.

She was also promised a house and lot courtesy of a partner of the Philippine Sports Commission.

Silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz shows her medal during the victory celebration in Zamboanga City on Thursday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Diaz also showed off her weightlifting prowess to the crowd by doing a 50 kg clean and jerk lift. 

The night before her homecoming, Diaz paid President Duterte a courtesy call in Davao City.

Duterte is glad that a Mindanaoan was able to end the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought.

“For a long time, wala tayong medalya sa Pilipinas,” said the President at the press conference following their meeting. -- With reports from Karl Cedric Basco, ABS-CBN News

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)