- Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo (born
February 9, 1987in Phoenix, Arizona) is a freestyle wrestler, who won a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is the youngest American ever to have won an Olympic wrestling gold medal. [http://www.timesleader.com/sports/Cejudo_rsquo_s_freestyle_wrestling_gold_turns_out_to_be_surprise_story_of_the_day_08-20-2008.html]
Cejudo captured four high school wrestling state championships in high school (two in Colorado, two in Arizona). He was given the award as the 2006
ASICSNational High School Wrestler of the Year.
He participated in two Junior World Championships, placing fifth in 2005, and second in 2006. That same year, Cejudo became the first high-schooler to win U.S. Nationals since
USA Wrestling's formation as the sport's national body in 1983. [http://wrestling.teamusa.org/athlete/athlete/1118] Cejudo decided to skip wrestling at the college level, and instead accepted an offer from USA wrestling to train at their main facilities, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. [http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gccNXZMsqbKDhQkfpNrpXKy6RWCAD92L9EFO1]
Cejudo won the Pan American Championships in March, 2008. [http://wrestling.teamusa.org/news/article/1248]
2008 Beijing Olympics
Cejudo qualified for the Olympics, in the 55 kg, (121 pound) weight class. He entered the competition in the
Round of 16. In his first round match, against Bulgaria's Radoslav Velikov, Cejudo lost the first period, 2-1, and was forced to win both of the remaining periods to win the match. [http://www.nbcolympics.com/wrestling/resultsandschedules/rsc=WRM255403/index.html]
In the quarterfinals, Cejudo faced Georgian wrestler
Besarion Gochashvilli, and again lost the first period, but bounced back to win the last two periods to advance. [http://www.nbcolympics.com/wrestling/resultsandschedules/rsc=WRM255302/index.html]
In the semifinals, Cejudo again was forced to win the last two periods, but did so for the third time in the tournament, defeating Azerbaijani wrestler
Namig Sevdimovto advance to the gold medal match. [http://www.nbcolympics.com/wrestling/resultsandschedules/rsc=WRM255403/index.html]
For the gold medal match, Cejudo faced Japanese wrestler
Tomohiro Matsunaga, and for the first time in the tournament, was able to win the first round, and when he also won the second period, he had won the match, and the gold medal. [http://www.nbcolympics.com/wrestling/resultsandschedules/rsc=WRM255101/index.html]
Cejudo was one of the 100 contestants in the 21st SASUKE tournament, along with Tomohiro Matsunaga. He failed on the course's First Stage, on the Halfpipe Attack obstacle, after jumping for the rope and 'hugging' it, making him slip and fall into the water. The tournament was aired on
September 17, 2008on TBS in Japan.
Cejudo was born on
February 9, 1987 in California. His parents were undocumented workersfrom Mexico, who divorced when Cejudo was four (his mother is now classified as a permanent resident) [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/beijing/wrestling/2008-08-19-cejudo-gold_N.htm] . Cejudo's father returned to Mexico, where he passed away in 2007. His mother remained in the US and raised Cejudo. Cejudo's brother, Angel Cejudois a nationally ranked wrestler as well, and trains in Colorado Springs with Henry. [http://www.latimes.com/sports/olympics/la-spw-olywrestling20-2008aug20,0,6050221.story] Three of his six sibilings, sister Gloria, brother Alonzo and brother Angel, were in the stands at his Beijing 2008 gold-medal-winning match. [http://www.latimes.com/la-spw-olywrestling20-2008aug20,0,7484793.story] His mother Nelly Rico was sick and unable to make it, but she joined him in his appearance on the Tonight Show on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 [http://themat.com/section.php?section_id=3&page=showarticle&ArticleID=19472] .
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