Thu. May 19th, 2022
Dennis Uy of Phoenix Petroleum sponsors training of champion weightlifter Diaz as arranged by Bong Go.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go filed last July 27 a Senate resolution commending Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz for winning the country’s first ever Olympic gold medal at the Summer Games being held in Tokyo, Japan.

The achievement ends a 97-year gold medal drought for the Philippines.

In his co-sponsorship speech, Go said that Diaz has proven time and again that she not only possesses the skill but the willpower and sheer determination as well, exemplifying the true spirit of Filipino competitiveness.

“She ruled the competition with a total score of 224kg to win in such an incredible and emphatic fashion that propelled her to the top. Indeed, this will be marked as one of the greatest sporting moments in Philippine history,” said Go.

The Senator also extended his full support to other Filipino athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics, adding that his office is always open to provide the assistance they need.

“Nais ko pong ipagbigay alam po na ako po’y nandirito lang po na nasa likod, handang tumulong sa tahimik na paraan. Bukas po ang aking opisina sa kahit anumang tulong, pinansiyal o ano pa mang assistance na aking pwedeng mabigay even in my own personal capacity,” he said.

In 2019, Go played a key part in securing a PhP2 million sponsorship arrangement between Phoenix Petroleum Philippines and Diaz, which was used to fund her training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Diaz earlier expressed her gratitude for the support she has received. She told reporters then that the financial support will allow her to train and compete in other events in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

Diaz, with Chinese coach Gao Kaiwen partly shown in this Instagram shot, had to improvise training protocol while stranded in Malacca because of the Covid pandemic. In this video, she stucked heavy gallons of water into travel bags connected by a bamboo stick just to work out. Gao also had to serve as her cook replacing her carbohydrate-rich diet to protein-packed meals.

Go, in his speech, also suggested to the Armed Forces of the Philippines the promotion of Diaz to Staff Sergeant from her current rank as Sergeant.

Her achievement also makes her the first female Filipino athlete to earn an Olympic medal. She also holds the distinction of being the first Mindanaoan to win an Olympic medal.

The Senator has long been an advocate of long-term sports development. Prior to winning as a senator, he served as the head of delegation of the Philippine national basketball team to the Asian Qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Upon assuming office in the Senate, one of the first bills that he filed is the proposed National Academy of Sports, which seeks to establish a school for athletes in New Clark City. The measure was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 9, 2020.

He has also pushed for the establishment of the Philippine Sports Training Center in Bataan. Go highlighted that together with the National Academy of Sports, both institutions are gifts from the government to national athletes.

First gold medal for the Philippines in 97 years. Diaz in Air Force uniform.

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