House adopts resolution honoring sprint legend Lydia de Vega
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives adopted on Monday House Resolution No. 231 and consolidated six other resolutions to honor the life of Filipino sprinting legend Lydia de Vega-Mercado, who died on Aug. 10 after her battle with breast cancer.
“Ms. Lydia De Vega-Mercado not only brought honor, pride, and unparalleled distinction to our beloved country, but inspired so many more athletes to follow suit and follow their dreams. Ms. De Vega has virtually put our country on the map by being, at one time, the ‘fastest woman in Asia’,” Speaker Martin Romualdez said.
“Her legacy will live on in the hearts of millions of Filipinos who will remember her name and her legacy as one of the best and brightest shining stars of Philippine sports,” he added.
House Resolution No. 231, which also expressed condolences to the bereaved family of “Asia’s fastest woman,” was authored by Romualdez; Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe; Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan; Tingog party-list Rep. Yedda Marie K. Romualdez; Senior Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Marcos; and Deputy Majority Leader Jude Acidre.
Last Wednesday, De Vega’s daughter, Stephanie Mercado De Koenigswarter, announced on Facebook that the sporting great had died due to complications from breast cancer.
Shortly after, tributes from several lawmakers poured in, including Pampanga Second District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a former president.
In the resolution, the House acknowledged De Vega-Mercado’s contributions and victories, including nine gold medals, nine silver medals, and two bronze medals in the Southeast Asian Games; back-to-back gold medals in the Asian Games; and medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter events in the 1983 and 1987 Asian Athletics Championships.
She also represented the country in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics in Los Angeles and Seoul.
“A two-time Olympian, Ms. De Vega-Mercado represented the Philippines in the 100-meter and 200-meter events at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 100-meter event at 1988 Seoul Olympics. In 1994, Ms. De Vega-Mercado successfully ended her track and field career by winning the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the Manila- Fujian Games,” the resolution stated.
“For her exemplary contribution to Philippine sports, Lydia De Vega-Mercado received several recognitions including the Ten Outstanding Young Men — Sports Category award in 1993 and the Palarong Pambansa Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018,” it added.
One of the last times De Vega-Mercdo was seen in public was during the 2019 SEA Games, where she was one of the country’s flag bearers at the opening ceremony.