HIDILYN Diaz said winning the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Athlete of the Year award for 2016 was a ‘dream come true’ in the aftermath of her silver-medal feat in the Rio De Janeiro Olympics last year.
Diaz said she was both honored and thrilled to receive the latest accolade, admitting that winning the Athlete of the Year honor was one of her goals in her athletic career.
“Pangarap ko lang ito na matanggap ang award na ‘to,” said Diaz in her brief acceptance speech. “Pero hawak ko na. Ginalingan ko para makuha ang goal ko."
Diaz said she set her sights on the Athlete of the Year award during the awards ceremony the year before when she sat among the crowd as one of the major awardees while Donnie Nietes, Miguel Tabuena and Noniyo Donaire shared the honor.
“Last year, nandito ako sa PSA. May award din ako. Sabi ko, next year, ako ang magiging Athlete of the Year,” said Diaz, who was also named SPIN.ph’s Sportsman of the Year for 2016.
“Hindi ba? Walang imposible kay God. Talagang tiyaga at disiplina,” she added.
Diaz formally received the Athlete of the Year trophy from PSA president Reira Mallari of The Standard, along with Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco and Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez.
Diaz also went on to thank the POC, PSC, the Philippine Weightlifting Association, friends, teammates, and family for their support to her quest to win an Olympic medal in Rio De Janeiro.
Along with Diaz, other major awardee of the event held in partnership with the PSC, Smart, Phoenix Petroleum, Foton, ICTSI, Globalport, Mighty Sports, and Rain or Shine was Eugene Torre, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the scribes association.