SPORTS HERO. Stephanie Mercado-Koenigswarter (center), daughter of the late sports great Lydia de Vega, talks to Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino at Heritage Park in Taguig City on Saturday (Aug 13, 2022). Tolentino said De Vega will have a place in the soon-to-rise POC Museum at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. (Contributed photo)

MANILA – The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) will immortalize the late Asian sprint queen Lydia de Vega at the soon-to-rise POC Museum at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino made the promise to De Vega’s daughter, Stephanie Mercado-Koenigswarter, and mother Mary when he visited De Vega’s wake at the Heritage Park in Taguig City on Saturday.

“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,” Tolentino told Koenigswarter and Mary de Vega.

“Her achievements in the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Championships and Asian Games, among others, will be immortalized there in the museum,” Tolentino said. “She’ll be an inspiration to all aspiring athletes.”

Work on the POC headquarters at the New Clark City will soon start, according to Tolentino.

“This is the first time that the POC will have a home of its own,” said Tolentino, who was accompanied in the wake by POC secretary general for international affairs Bones Floro. “And a museum will be built to aptly highlight this home.”

De Vega 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 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.

De Vega’s wake will be transferred on Monday to her hometown in Meycauyan, Bulacan, where she also once served as councilor.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said De Vega was a testament that dreams can be achieved through hard work and sacrifices.

“We hope that her legacy will live on in the minds and hearts of young Filipinos,” DepEd said in a statement on Sunday.

Tolentino, meanwhile, will fly to Bangkok on Monday for a SEA Games Federation Council meeting on the Cambodia 32nd SEA Games in May 2023. (PR)