Public party held for Valley Olympian

FRESNO, Calif.

While Ramirez did not bring home the gold medal he's still proud of himself, after all, his hometown is treating him like a champion.

Hundreds crowded into Floyd Rice Park Friday evening. And they were all there to see a popular young athlete.

"Jose is a winner in our eyes," said the city's Police Chief Jack Amoroso.

Four days after returning from London, Jose Ramirez is still on the move. He was honored in his hometown with a parade through Avenal.

"He put us on the map, so we just thank him so much for all his hard work," said Avenal resident Emily Sanchez.

Ramirez trained in the ring for years all for a chance to compete in the lightweight division at the Olympics. But London wasn't so good to him. He fell just short of a medal.

"He may have lost the fight by points, but the effort he made every time was a maximum effort," Chief Amoroso said.

"Now I know what it feels like to train for so long and come out a little short," Ramirez said. "It was a little harsh, but I think it's going to make me a very tough person overall."

With the loss behind him, Ramirez is looking ahead and soaking in his Olympic glory. He spent the evening taking pictures and signing autographs.

"He does really well, so to get his autograph, it means a lot," Sanchez said.

Ramirez told Action News he hopes to give the kids in Avenal someone to look up to. "I want to show them what hard work gives you," he said. "Hard work does pay off."

"He's been a guy that has always made the difficult decision and gone on the side of the right thing to do," Chief Amoroso said. "We hope that the youth in the community will see Jose's successes and try to emulate that."

The city and Ramirez's corporate sponsors said they're so proud of his athletic achievements they threw the party.

"This is love, you know? I'm very blessed and very fortunate to have this," Ramirez said.

Jose Ramirez said he's now considering a professional boxing career.

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