How Did Athletics legend Lydia De Vega Die? Cause of death explained

After a fight with breast cancer, Lydia de Vega-Mercado, a legend in Philippine athletics, passed away on Wednesday. She was 57.

How Did Athletics legend Lydia De Vega Die?

Lydia de Vega, a legendary track athlete from the Philippines, passed away on Wednesday, August 10, following a four-year fight with breast cancer. She was 57.

De Vega’s passing was revealed by her daughter, former volleyball player Stephanie Mercado de Koenigswarter.

Stephanie stated, “On behalf of our family, I thus announce the passing of my mother, Lydia De Vega, this evening, August 10, 2022, at the Makati Medical Center.

Lydia De Vega cause of death

‘She fought the very good fight and is now at peace,’

Stephanie ‘Paneng’ Mercado-de Koenigswarter

She put up a valiant battle, and she is finally at rest.

On behalf of our family, it is with absolute grief that I announce the death of my mother, Lydia De Vega this evening, August 10, 2022, at the Makati Medical Center

daughter Stephanie Mercado de Koenigswarter

In 2018, De Vega received a breast cancer diagnosis.

Lydia De Vega past sickness history

De Vega’s health status was made public on July 20 by Mercado-de Koenigswarter, who noted the Filipino sports legend was “in very grave condition.”

She underwent brain surgery last month. However, the surgery was unsuccessful, and she has been in intensive care ever since.

Mercado-De Koenigswarte requested prayers and money from the public as the retired athlete had spent the last four years fighting stage 4 breast cancer.

De Vega was unable to communicate at the time, but Mercado-De Koenigswarter described her condition as “the largest race of her life.” Despite this, the family is still certain that De Vega could hear them speak to her.

De Vega chose a quiet life as a coach based in Singapore after stepping away from the spotlight, whereas Mercado-De Koenigswarter achieved recognition as a volleyball player.

At the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines hosted, De Vega made one of her last significant public appearances. She carried the national flag alongside other icons like Efren “Bata” Reyes, Paeng Nepomuceno, and Eric Buhain.

Lydia De Vega career records & achievements

She won two gold medals in the Asian Games and was a decorated athlete in many Southeast Asian Games competitions. She was previously dubbed Asia’s fastest woman.

De Vega was one of the most honoured athletes in the history of the nation. He won 15 gold medals at various international events, including nine at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games alone.

How Did Athletics legend Lydia De Vega Die? Cause of death explained
How Did Athletics legend Lydia De Vega Die? Cause of death explained

The former track champion of Asia won two gold medals in the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games and four Asian Athletics Championships in total.

De Vega, a two-time Olympian, took part in the 1984 and 1988 campaigns to win the first gold medal for the Philippines.

At the 1994 Manila-Fujian Games, De Vega, who had won her final two SEA Games gold in 1993, announced her retirement at the age of 30 after wrapping out her career with a “easy victory” in the 100-meter dash, according to a media article from October 26, 1994.

After dominating the 100-meter dash competitions at the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games, she was known as Asia’s fastest woman during the 1980s.

The Meycauayan, Bulacan sprinter also competed for the nation in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.

The legendary athlete from the Philippines stopped competing in 1994. For more than three decades, she held the national records for the 100- and 200-meter runs.

De Vega was last observed by the general public in 2019, when she participated in the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Philippine Arena as one of the flag bearers.

Lydia De Vega family

De Vega had three daughters with Paul Mercado, a former engineer at Meralco and businessman who operated a fish pond. Stephanie (Paneng) is a former collegiate volleyball player for the DLSU Lady Spikers. Her four-year-old son John Michael was killed in an automobile accident in February 2001.

De Vega had a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis in 2018. Her daughter Stephanie stated in July 2022 that she had brain surgery but was still “in critical condition.”

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In the province of Bulacan, De Vega represented her home town of Meycauayan as a councillor. She was designated as the Alliance of Coaches and Athletes of the Philippines’ liaison to the Philippine Sports Commission at the beginning of 2005.

After obtaining three employment offers from Singaporean private schools to manage athletics, De Vega moved to Singapore in December 2005. In Singapore, she is currently working with young athletes. Her most recent outing was during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games opening ceremony in the Philippines, when she served as one of the flag carriers.

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