Ahead of her hero’s welcome in the Philippines, Olympic medalist Hidilyn Diaz goes on a souvenir gift hunt in Rio


After winning the silver medal for weightlifting in the Rio Olympics, Filipina athlete Hidilyn Diaz is set for a hero’s welcome in the Philippines.

Diaz boarded an Emirates flight via Dubai on Wednesday (August 10) and is expected to reach the Philippines on Thursday. She will then fly to Zamboanga City with her parents on board a private plane owned by businessman Manny Pangilinan, said Philippine Olympic Committee first vice president Joey Romansanta.

But before she bid Brazil adieu, the 25-year-old Diaz stopped by a shop in Rio de Janeiro to check out souvenirs she could bring home as gifts.

Diaz browsed through the display stalls with mostly Rio 2016 souvenir jerseys from Nike, but exclaimed that they were too expensive. The jerseys cost between 95 reals ($30) to 110 reals ($35).

“Di ako gagastos ng ganyan kalaki! Kuripot talaga ako. Sorry (I’m not going to spend that much! I’m really stingy. Sorry),” she said on live video recording on Facebook.

She won’t need to be penny-pinching for long, though, as she will be pocketing a 5-million peso ($107,183) government reward for winning silver. Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao also pledged to give her a cash reward, although he did not specify the amount.

Diaz appeared to like some yellow Rio mascot stuffed toys, telling viewers that she liked the color yellow. She then strolled near a display of jerseys printed with the names of a few countries, but expressed dismay when she couldn’t find one with Philippines printed on it.

“Walang Philippines? Bakit walang Phlippines? (No Philippines? Why isn’t there any Philippine [jersey]),” she said, adding, “Gusto ko balang araw may Philippines na jan (I want one day that the Philippines will be represented).”


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