© 2023 Cincinnati Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Duke Ragan Day' Declared In Honor Of Cincinnati's Latest Olympic Medalist

Tuesday, the city of Cincinnati declared Aug. 10 "Duke Ragan Day" in honor of the professional boxer from the Queen City who won a silver medal in the 2020 Olympics.

The decree was made at Fountain Square by representatives from the city with Ragan's family beside him. He gave remarks about competing in Japan, which was a long way from home for the West End native.

"During my journey in Tokyo, I saw all of the support and love and encouragement," Ragan said. "It's kind of lonely out there, you know. Boxing is a lonely man's sport. It's not like other sports. You're by yourself when you get in that ring, but I always felt like I had y'all in the ring with me."

Ragan's mother, Mary Walker, told him to remain humble following his success in the Olympics.

"It's been a long journey and he ain't done yet," Walker said. "I just want God to keep covering my baby through all these travels. Glad he made it back home safe. He's my baby and I'm proud of him."

During the Olympics, Ragan competed in the first-ever Olympic finals featuring two professional boxers, falling short 3-2 against the Russian Olympic Committee's Albert Batyrgaziev. It was Ragan's lone defeat in the tournament.

"I didn't get to bring home a gold medal, but I know that I won much more with the silver medal, so I'm happy," Ragan said.

Fellow Cincinnati Olympians and boxers showed their appreciation for the area's latest medalist. Olympian Mary Wineberg, who won gold in track and field in 2008, congratulated Ragan on his success.

"From one Olympian to another Olympian, once an Olympian, always an Olympian," she said. "Never former, never past."

Ragan is one of the first professional boxers to compete for Team USA in the Olympics. The featherweight is currently 4-0 with one knockout on his record.

Cincinnati has produced a long line of Olympic boxers, including former world champions Rau'shee Warren, Tim Austin, Wallace "Bud" Smith and fellow Olympic silver medalist Ricardo Williams Jr.

To see more photos from Tuesday's event, click the photo above.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.