Henry Cejudo became the youngest American to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling when he became the Men's 55kg Freestyle Wrestling champion at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, defeating Japan's Tomohiro Matsunaga.
He was only 21 years old at the time and was the first American in 100 years to make it to the top of the podium in that particular weight class.
Henry Cejudo's record was later broken by Kyle Snyder at the 2016 Rio Olympics when he bested Azerbaijan's Khetag Gazyumov in the finals of Men's 97kg Freestyle Wrestling. He was 20 years of age at the time.
Who is Kyle Snyder?
Born on November 20, 1995, Kyle Snyder is a 25-year-old American freestyle wrestler from Woodbine, Maryland. Along with being the youngest American to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling, Snyder is also the youngest World Champion in American wrestling history.
He also holds the record of being the youngest to win the World, NCAA, and Olympic championships in the same year. This trifecta of feats had not been accomplished in more than a generation until Snyder completed his sweep at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He is also the first three-time NCAA heavyweight champion in nearly three decades.
Kyle Snyder is currently competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will go up against Abdulrashid Sadulaev in the final of Men's 97kg Freestyle Wrestling on Saturday. This contest will be the third time Kyle Snyder, nicknamed 'Captain America', will face Abdulrashid Sadulaev, nicknamed 'The Russian Tank'. They have wrestled twice in the past four years and have won one each, making the trilogy a rubber match for the rivalry.
Henry Cejudo lost his Olympic medal in a California wildfire
An Olympic medal is something an athlete gets to treasure for a lifetime. However, Henry Cejudo was not that lucky in that regard.
'Triple C' found himself engulfed in a terrifying fire in his hotel in Santa Rosa, California, in the early hours of October 9, 2017. Cejudo was there for a celebrity golf event but happened to have his Olympic gold medal, Olympic ring, and a belt his mentor gifted along with him.
Henry Cejudo shared the story with Ariel Helwani on an episode of The MMA Hour about how he escaped his hotel room filled with smoke thanks to the Northern California wildfire flames. He jumped from a two-story window wearing nothing but a pair of slacks and carrying his phone.
Hear Henry Cejudo talk in detail about the incident below:
In another podcast in 2018, Henry Cejudo shared that he would have to go to the United States Olympic Committee and get a replica of the medal if he wanted to have a replacement. He was later surprised with a replica by his sponsors 'Lifted Trucks' from Arizona.