THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) will put up mementos of the late Lydia de Vega-Mercado at the soon-to-rise Museum at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac in honor of the fallen former Asia’s sprint queen.
“Lydia’s legacy will forever be remembered. So we, the POC, are planning to put all her achievements on a wall inside the Olympic Museum,” POC President Abraham Tolentino told Ms. De Vega-Mercado’s daughter, Stephanie de Koenigswarter, and mother, Mary, when the Tagaytay mayor paid his respects at the Heritage Park in Taguig on Saturday.
“Her achievements in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Asian Championships and Asian Games, among others, will be immortalized there in the museum. She’ll be an inspiration to all aspiring athletes.”
Work on the POC headquarters at the New Clark City will also soon start.
“This is the first time that the POC will have a home of its own. And a museum will be built to aptly highlight this home,” he said.
Ms. De Vega-Mercado dominated track and field in the region in her prime, winning back-to-back Asian Games 100 meters gold medals in New Delhi 1982 and Seoul 1986, two 100 meters and two 200 meters titles in the Asian Championships in Singapore 1983 and Kuwait 1987, and nine SEA Games gold medals from 1983 to 1987.
Ms. De Vega-Mercado’s wake will be transferred on Monday to her native soil in Meycauyan, Bulacan where she once served as councilor.
Mr. Tolentino, meanwhile, will fly to Bangkok on Monday for a SEA Games Federation Council meeting on the Cambodia 32nd SEA Games in May 2023. — Joey Villar