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 over Asia.

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 the country.

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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