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Tokyo heroes thank congressmen

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HIDILYN Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial express their gratitude to Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero and other congressmen. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MIKEE ROMERO

The rewards — monetary or in kind — came in great abundance for Tokyo Olympic heroes, but Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero said they fully deserved those blessings.

Romero said the rewards given to Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial are the fruits of their hard work so it is only just for them to be given recognition.

Weightlifter Diaz emerged as the country’s first Olympic gold medalist while boxers Petecio and Paalam claimed the silver medals in the women’s featherweight and men’s flyweight events.

Marcial, for his part, clinched the bronze medal to underscore the country’s dominance in boxing.

“The rewards they have received and to be received were for their blood, sweat and tears during their Spartan-like training up to the tournament proper in Tokyo so it’s right and just for them to receive such abundance,” Romero said during a recent Congressional ceremony.

“For almost a month, the Tokyo Games heroes and other members of Team Philippines made us extremely proud to be Filipinos. Time and again, they displayed the indomitable Filipino spirit.”

Aside from the additional P3 million cash incentive she received from the “pass the hat” drive initiated by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, Romero and other key leaders of the House, Diaz was conferred the inaugural Congressional Medal of Excellence — an award given solely to Filipino athletes who have won a gold medal in the Olympics.

On the other hand, Petecio, Paalam and Marcial were conferred with the Congressional Medal of Distinction.

“I am immensely humbled to have received the Congressional Medal of Distinction, an award that would represent our achievements in the field of sports,” Marcial said in a social media post.

“I greatly appreciate this honorable gesture from our House of Representatives, specifically Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and deputy speaker Mikee Romero. I hope this will serve as an inspiration to all the youths of our country.”

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