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Now that’s what you call cash for gold!
A weightlifter who won the Philippines its first Olympic gold medal will leave Tokyo with an extra $660,000 in tax-free cash prizes, two homes and a lifetime of free flights.
Hidilyn Diaz, 30, took home the top honors in the women’s 55 kilogram lift at the Tokyo Games on Monday, lifting the equivalent of 280 pounds, which is a record.
“History. Made,” the Olympics’s official Twitter account posted on Monday.
Diaz made history — and also reportedly hit the jackpot.
Her country’s government and some business owners are paying her 33 million pesos ($660,000), according to Bloomberg. Gold winners are guaranteed 10 million pesos from the Philippines Sports Commission but the purse has never been paid out – until now, the outlet said.
The star weightlifter, who previously won a silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, will get a house in Tagaytay for her win, USA Today said — and developer Megaworld said it will give her a condo in Eastwood valued at 14 million pesos, the company announced.
Diaz will also fly free for life with AirAsia, an airline which says it previously gave her five years of unlimited flights when she won the silver.
“We want all Asean to believe that they can always make it happen,” AirAsia spokesperson Steve Dailisan said in a news release.
“Amidst challenges and struggles as we go forth with recovery, Hidilyn reminds us that no matter how heavy the weight we are carrying, inner strength, perseverance, and a heart of gold will help us power through.”
The Olympian reportedly doesn’t need to worry about getting taxed on the gifts. The country’s tax code says any awards in international sports competitions aren’t taxable to the recipient, Rappler.com noted.
Diaz also received accolades from a spokesperson for President Rodrigo Duterte for bringing home the country’s first gold in 97 years.
“Congratulations, Hidilyn,” said spokesperson Harry Roque on Twitter. “The entire Filipino nation is proud of you. Laban, Pilipinas!”
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