Filipino Athletes - Lydia de Vega
Perhaps there’s no other Filipino sports woman who put us into the map than
Lydia de Vega. Known as the Sprint Queen, she was the fastest-running woman all
Lydia de Vegas was born on December 12, 1964, in Meycauyan, Bulacan. As a child,
she never had an inclination towards sports, particularly track and field, not
until she joined one of the competitions in her school when he was 12. At that
time, she was never truly confident of her skill, though she had the persistence
to definitely give her best shot.
Later on, in 1982, she was one of the participants for the Asian Games, where
she eventually bagged the gold medal award for the 100-meter dash, which was
held in New Delhi, India. By 1986, she was already receiving gold medals left
and right in Seoul, South Korea, including beating her own record to 11.53 seconds.
She also brought a silver medal for the 200-meter dash. So famous was she that
a movie directed by an acclaimed director Mauro Gia Samonte was produced, with
her in the starring role. It was entitled Medalyang Ginto. In 1994, she decided
to retire from running and concentrate on other things, such as politics.
In 2001, she won one of the council seats in her hometown. Being a sportsperson
herself, a lot of her projects were related to this field. She encouraged a
lot of teenagers to participate in several sports competitions such as table
tennis, taekwondo, and basketball. She organized sports clinics and tournaments
for free. She is also an advocate of Philippine sports, acting as a consultant
for the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association. She takes active part
in developing seminars and tournaments all over the country. She’s also
one of the many people who believed that the country needs to exert a lot of
effort when it comes to developing world-class athletes like her.
She is currently married to Pablo V. Mercado, with whom she has three children.
The youngest, however, died in a tragic jeepney accident just in front of her
home. Lydia relishes the fact that she’s usually a stay-at-home wife and
mother to he children. She also loves the idea that her kids are inspired by
her contribution into Philippine sports. Her youngest daughter, Stephanie, became
part of their varsity team for volleyball when she was only 11.
Lydia de Vega is also trying to support her aging parents, and thus, would
normally think of many ways on how to increase their income. That’s why
she definitely grabbed the opportunity to coach a track team in Singapore, where
she is now based. For her, this will be a very good opportunity to improve the
lives of her family, having seen how countless the opportunities are outside
Lydia definitely doesn’t just run for the sake of fame or glory. She runs
the miles and the tracks in order to inspire people, especially the young ones,
to never be afraid to go after their dreams
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