Episode 005: Olympic Wrestling Hero Reveals How He Defeated Poverty And Discrimination

Henry Carlos Cejudo is an American freestyle wrestler, Olympic gold medalist, mixed martial artist and author. Henry’s parent’s are from Mexico City and he was born in Central L.A., raised in south Phoenix in a trailer outside a junkyard. Seeing how hard his mother worked when he was a kid, he committed to becoming the best wrestling champion in the world. In 2008, he became the youngest Olympic Gold Medalist for wresting in the history of the United States. Since his championship, Henry speaks out about the negative conversations he hears in the media about “anchor babies,” discussing that we are all American, but we all have different cultures and that’s the beauty of America.
Transcript:

Henry Cejudo: My mom came to the United States, I believe, in the late 70’s. She had no idea what she was getting herself into because her and her cousins, they were used to watching just television. They saw how glamorous America was so they all crossed the border with high heels and pretty much like these nice dresses like they were going to somewhere, which knowing my mom and the Mexican culture where my mom comes from it was probably very colorful, very flamboyant looking type dress where they’d probably make fun of here in the US.  Being born in South Central LA, I know at that time it was predominantly Mexican and black, we eventually moved out, my dad broke the law.  Dad was wheeling and dealing he was deported like he should. On the flip side, I have a mother who bent her back backwards for the world. She came to this country illegally, she did. She risked her life on the line but she also sold me the American Dream. She is like, ‘Henry tu eres americano’.  Henry you are American. I know if I work as hard as my mom did an lady did to support her and her seven kids somehow some way I was gonna become the best in the world. I was determined to do it. (music) Mom is from Mexico City. I was born in South Central LA, I was pretty much raised in South Pheonix this probably the worst area in the trailer inside of a junk yard. At the age of 16 I pretty much had dominated the competition in the US. I was asked by the Olympic Training Centre to join the Olympic team within four years these guys gave everything ‘todo’ I am gonna become the best in the world. On August 19th 2004, I left home. August 19th, 2008 that kid with that dream became the youngest Olympic champion in the history of the United States of America. When I won the Olympics and I carried that American flag it was a symbol of unity.  FOX News >> What do you want in the State of Arizona, its Federal Law now, Federal law says any baby born in the United States of America is American citizen and you want the State of Arizona to override that law? >> First of all that’s not the law, it’s an unconstitutional declaration. >>There are a great many illegal aliens who come here not only for jobs but the opportunity to have babies. >> We have all these people who run across our border to have children and they are called “anchor babies” if you just think about it, it’s sickening >> to make it illegal to enter the United States but>> I got it, I got, you disagree with the law and millions of Americans agree with you.

Henry Cejudo: I’ve witnessed discrimination myself and actually on political talk shows radio shows call me the “anchor baby” it’s almost like somebody punched me in the stomach. If you are born in this country or you pretty much said an oath to this country, man, you are American. We are all Americans but we all have different cultures but that’s the beauty of America. Let’s not forget where our parents or grandparents came from and let’s still keep those roots. But first and foremost, I am American. I am the new breed of what it is to be American.

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