Zamboanga draws up Hidilyn statue

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Zamboanga draws up Hidilyn statue
Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz (front row, left), skateboarder Margielyn Didal and other team members raise their glasses on board a Philippine Airlines flight from Japan yesterday.
Philippine Airlines

MANILA, Philippines — Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz will have a statue of her built in the heart of Zamboanga City.

Elbert Atilano, a local councilor and former national weightlifting team coach, yesterday said they would erect Diaz’ effigy at the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex to honor their heroine and serve as inspiration to their young athletes.

He said the city engineering office has already received orders to start the project that has a projected cost of P5 million to P7 million.

“We just want to honor her (Diaz) and inspire the generation of athletes in Zamboanga City,” said Atilano, who was Diaz’ first mentor more than two decades ago.

Zamboanga City had already passed into a local law giving Diaz a P2.5 million cash incentive for bringing home the country’s first Olympic gold.

And just yesterday, Diaz will get an additional P1 million from University de Zamboanga where she used to study before transferring to St. Benilde in Manila to start her Olympic preparation.

More are expected to come in as Atilano said 13 local manufacturing factories in the city have pledged more rewards. A ticker tape parade is also being prepared for Diaz.

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