It was truly a July night to remember after Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won an historic gold medal for the Philippines at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. One of her avid supporters, PLDT and MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan cried tears of joy as soon as he heard the news.
“Wow as in Wow. Great job, Hidilyn. We knew it was a tough journey for you, but every step is now well worth it. You have our continuing prayers and support albeit at the end, it is you who does the heavy lifting. Tonight, you carried the nation on your shoulders. A huge thanks,” Pangilinan tweeted.
Diaz is among the 14 out of 19 Olympians under MVPSF, an organization under the MVP group that supports Filipino athletes as they train to bring honor to the Philippines in their respective sporting events.
“Congratulations, Hidilyn! You make us so proud. The MVPSF was born ten years ago with its vision of winning our first Olympic gold medal. You did it,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. President and CEO, and MVPSF President. “We at PLDT and Smart have always believed in the importance of sports in shaping individuals and communities for the better. Hidilyn embodied what puso really means,” added Panlilio, who also serves as the First Vice President of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
The MVPSF has supported Diaz’s training both financially and logistically in the last two years, and has helped her form a core team of experts to build a solid strategy in her fourth shot at the Olympics.
“Maraming salamat po sa MVPSF, kay Sir MVP at kay Sir Al Panlilio. Thank you so much po sa binigay niyong tiwala sa amin, sa Team HD at sa akin. Hindi ko po makakamit ang gold medal without your support,” Diaz said.
Diaz will receive P10-million pesos from MVPSF as an incentive for securing the gold medal in the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Olympics, on top of other rewards from the government and other private companies.
Inspiration to all
Diaz’s historic win also serves as an inspiration to other athletes who are still competing for medals in Japan.
“Hidilyn’s performance has truly inspired the members of Team Pilipinas to do their best. We at PLDT, Smart, and MVPSF are doing our best to support these athletes on so many levels, so that they can bring glory to the country through sports,” said Jude Turcuato, Head of Sports at PLDT and Smart. “We would also like to recognize and thank the hard work of the management, staff, families, and fans, who tirelessly supported our athletes’ journey to the Olympics,” he added.
As an official broadcaster of the world’s largest sporting event happening until August 8, 2021, Smart also enables Filipinos and sports fans to catch the games and cheer for Team Philippines through gigafest.smart, which offers the most comprehensive online streaming coverage with 10 channels including the Olympics pay-per-view (PPV) channel, pop-up channel, news channel, and seven ready-to-air channels from the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS).
To enjoy the service, customers simply have to turn on the Smart mobile data and go to gigafest.smart on their mobile browser to watch the live events, replays, highlights, athletes’ features, and daily news throughout the entire Olympics run. For details and schedule, please click https://smart.com.ph/Pages/olympics-schedule
Smart also provided 5G technology and 5G roaming to the coverage teams of TV5, Cignal, and officials who participated in this much-anticipated event that mirrors the triumph of human spirit against the challenges of the ongoing pandemic.
After her epic win, Diaz is now hoping to finally go home and see her family after almost two years of being away. There’s no saying what’s next for the golden girl, but she remains steadfast in her belief that there’s no magic formula for success, particularly in sports. “Kailangan paghandaan mo ito, you have to train smarter and harder, at gawin mo ang best mo para manalo,” she said.