The Dias family, who lives on the southern island of Mindanao, followed her achievement warmly, and her mother, Emilita, said in an interview with Agence France-Presse the day after the historic achievement: “We were overwhelmed with joy and we screamed and some cried for joy.”
The people of the capital, Manila, welcomed the first gold medal in Olympic history for the Philippines, which has won 10 medals so far.
Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao enthusiastically wrote on Twitter, “Thank you Hedlin Dias for this first gold medal for the Philippines! We are so proud of you.”
The Filipino weightlifter will be rewarded with a check for $655,000 plus a house, which is considered a small fortune for such a weightlifter in a country where the average salary is around 250 euros.
Megaworld Corporation also announced that it will offer her a house worth 236,000 euros.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that this Olympic title may change the fate of the country’s athletes, while acknowledging that public financial aid allocated to them is insufficient.