BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET)– There’s a very special recipient who just received the Rough Rider Award. Though he lives in California now, he says he’s a true-blue North Dakotan through and through.

Boxing fans were in for the match of a lifetime as they watched North Dakota legend Virgil Hill receive the Rough Rider Award from Governor Burgum.

This award is the highest honor given to a North Dakotan, and it’s an honor that Hill didn’t think he could ever receive.

“Now at the age of 59, they’re giving it to me, and I am extremely proud, extremely proud. Words can’t describe my feelings,” shared Hill.

With five world titles and an Olympic medal under his belt, it’s safe to say that he’s made a splash on the international level. But to him, the Rough Rider Award means more than anything else.

“I won five world titles. I gave all my belts away. I won a silver medal. I gave that away too. I’m not giving this away.”

Close friends spoke of his unbeatable work ethic and drive, and how they got him to where he is today; however, they also mentioned his incredible heart.

He’s known for his partnerships with many different charities, even becoming friends with a boy battling cancer in Bismarck.

In Virgil’s own words, “Boxing is a tough sport, but not as tough as what this little guy goes through. What a trooper this kid is. He is more of a man than I will ever be.”

Above all, Hill credits his home state for instilling in him his heart and his work ethic.

“I’m proud to come from where I come from. It taught me work ethic, it gave me values, morals, ethics, I’m very lucky.”

In the words of Governor Burgum, Virgil Hill will live on in the halls of our Capitol, inspiring our community for generations to come.

Filmmakers are now making a full-length documentary called “Quicksilver: the Virgil Hill Story.”
The documentary is expected to come out in late 2024.