The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) bestowed the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) the Breakthrough NOC Award for winning its first Olympic gold medal through weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the Tokyo Games in July.
POC President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino received the award online during the ceremonies held in Heraklion, Greece, on Sunday.
“The POC is honored to receive this award from the ANOC. It’s been almost a century or after 22 Olympics that we finally won our first Olympic gold medal,” said Tolentino as he reiterated his praises for Diaz, silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial for their remarkable performance in Tokyo.
“This award is not only for the POC, but for the entire country and the 15 other Filipino athletes who gallantly competed in the Tokyo Olympics,” Tolentino said.
The ANOC Awards were held for the first time in Bangkok in 2014 and have been held every year since then. The event was created in order to recognize and honor the achievements of the NOCs and their athletes as well as distinguished members of the Olympic Family.
Also receiving the award for winning their first Olympic gold medals were Bermuda (women’s triathlon) and Qatar (weightlifting). Burkina Faso, San Marino, and Turkmenistan were also recognized for clinching their first-ever medals at the Tokyo Olympics.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, Greek Culture and Sports Minister Lefteris Avgenakis, and representatives from the IOC, NOCs, international federations, and other Olympic stakeholders attended the awards.
The ANOC also conducted its general assembly where officials from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing made a presentation.