US Wrestling Prodigy Wins Gold

21-year-old is youngest American to win wrestling gold
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 19, 2008 8:40 AM CDT
Henry Cejudo of the US, in red, wrestles against Tomohiro Matsunaga of Japan in the finals.   (AP Photo/Saurabh Das )
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Henry Cejudo, the 21-year-old US prodigy who had competed in only one world-level senior tournament before Beijing, won gold today in Olympic freestyle 55-kilogram wrestling. Cejudo, crying the moment the match ended and wrapping himself in an American flag, defeated Tomohiro Matsunaga of Japan in the best-of-three match. Cejudo is the youngest American to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal.

“I always knew I was going to be here,” said the son of undocumented Mexican aliens who bypassed a college career to try to become an Olympian. “This proves that whatever you want to do as an American, you can do it." Cejudo's victory marks the ninth consecutive time the US has won a freestyle wrestling gold in Games in which it competed.