AFP confers awards to Olympic medalists Hidilyn Diaz, Eumir Marcial

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 25 2021 10:14 PM

Photo from PAO-AFP
Photo from PAO-AFP

Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and bronze medalist Eumir Marcial, who both serve as soldier-athletes, received military honors on Wednesday from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

In a ceremony, Staff Sergeant Diaz was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Medal with Second Bronze Anahaw Leaf for her gold-medal performance in the women's 55kg category in weightlifting at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The four-time Olympian also received a plaque of recognition, the Philippine flag, and a token from the military leadership. 

“What SSgt. Diaz has done was to bring hope and inspiration to millions of our fellow Filipinos, who up until this day continue to battle against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lieutenant General Erickson Gloria, the AFP Vice Chief of Staff.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Marcial received the Chief of Staff, AFP Commendation Medal and Ribbon for his Olympic podium finish in boxing. 

The AFP also acknowledged other Olympians who brought honor to the country such as Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam who both delivered silver medals in boxing. 

The AFP has a program of direct enlistment that enables athletes to join its ranks. This provides them access to training facilities as well as includes them in the AFP payroll for their regular salaries.

As of July 2021, there are 128 military athletes and coaches who compete in various sport events. Of which, 23 are from the Philippine Army, 64 from the Philippine Air Force and 41 from the Philippine Navy.