Marcos mourns passing of De Vega
PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of former Asia’s sprint queen Lydia de Vega, who passed away last Wednesday, August 10 due to breast cancer.
She was 57.
Marcos hailed De Vega as “the fastest woman in Asia who placed the Philippines in the map of international athletics.”
De Vega, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, was also one of the leading products of the defunct Project Gintong Alay of the late President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, Sr. and Michael Keon in the early 80s.
President Marcos’ full statement:
“I join the entire nation in mourning the untimely demise of former Asian sprint queen Lydia de Vega, after a four-year battle with breast cancer. My sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones.
Lydia was once touted as the fastest woman in Asia and she placed the Philippines in the map of international athletics. She won the 100-meter gold medal in the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games. She ruled the sprint double in the Asian Athletics Championship in 1983 and 1987. She is also a nine-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist. All in her favorite event, the 100-meter dash.
Lydia was also a two-time Olympian, having represented the Philippines in the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympics.”
Lydia de Vega has run her last race. She has finished her contest. She has fought a good fight. Let us pray for her peace.”
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) also mourned the death of De Vega.
“We mourn an irreplaceable loss to the sporting community. I grieve as an athlete and friend. Lydia is my contemporary. Kasama ko siya, kapanahon. It is such a big loss to Philippine sports.I was even counting on her to help me in my tasks as Commissioner since she was a PSC consultant for a long time,”said PSC commissioner Bong Coo.
“However, I am sure her legacy and achievements will continue to inspire for generations to come, as she was also an inspiration to me. Let us all pray for her as she runs her final journey to her heavenly reward. We will miss you Diay.”
“While we at the PSC extended some help during her hospitalization, we also wrote the President for additional support as we know the financial burden her long hospitalization has on the family.”
“Another sad day for Philippine sports, and although we lost a great icon, she made an imprint on the hearts of all the people she inspired,” said POC President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
“Her story will always be a success story to all athletes that Filipinos are capable of being in the pedestal especially to those who dream and pursue it.”
Philippine Athletics and Track Field Association (PATAFA) President Terry Capistrano also mourned the death of De Vega.
“On behalf of the men and women of PATAFA, our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of the great Lydia de Vega. We lost one of our own, one of our best but her spirit will live on in our hearts,” said Capistrano.
De Vega’s imprint as a legendary athlete proved far and wide following the outpouring of condolences of sports leaders in the Southeast Asian region.
“On behalf of Brunei Darussalam NOC, I would like to convey our sincere condolences to the Philippines NOC and the family of the late Lydia de Vega,” Brunei NOC president Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah told Tolentino in a message.
“Brother President Tolentino, our deepest condolences to the family of the late Lydia de Vega and all Philippines NOC,” said Indonesia Olympic Committee president Raja Sapta Oktohari. “May she rest in peace.”
Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand (NOCT), was among the first to convey his condolences.
“We received this news with sadness. On behalf of NOCT, allow us to express our deepest condolences to the POC and the family of the late Lydia de Vega,” Wongsuwan said. “Her legacy continues to live on. May she rest In peace.”
Another NOCT official, Vice President Charoen Wattanasin, also sent his condolences to the POC head.
“With my deepest condolences and on behalf of [the] NOCT, to the family of the late Lydia de Vega and the Philippines NOC, may she rest In peace,” Wattanasin said.
Singapore National Olympic Council president Tan Chuan-Jin said: “Our deepest condolences to the POC and the family of the late Lydia de Vega, the iconic Queen of the track.”
De Vega’s last public appearance was during the opening ceremony of the 30th SEA Games at the New Clark City in 2019 where she bore the Philippine flag together with her fellow sports icons.