The Olympic champion was often pictured with his medal, a great source of pride for the former amateur wrestler for the USA. In late 2017, though, a fire cost him his gold medal and nearly a whole lot more.
Cejudo isn’t shy about sharing his thoughts on the landscapes of MMA, but the story of how he lost his medal is less well known in the wider MMA community.
“For a lot of you guys that don’t know, I ended up — when was it, 2018, 2017? Yeah, in 2017 I got caught in the Santa Rosa fires, which was the largest fire in American history.”
Indeed, the Tubbs fire in Santa Rosa was a huge problem, destroying close to 3,000 homes and 400’000 acres of commercial property.
“I believe 50 people died… I’ll never forget it, man. I brought my gold medal with me. and my Olympic ring. I brought a bunch of stuff with me and it ended up all pretty much in flames.”
Cejudo: “I Was The Last To Get Out”
It may have been a dark time for Cejudo, but the former two-weight world champion is trying to keep as positive a view as possible on the terrible situation.
“I was the last person to get out. I jumped out of a second-story building.” Cejudo continued: “I was able to survive. I lost my gold medal, all that stuff, but I still have my life. Which is something I’m very thankful for today. Experiences like that just let you know the gratitude that you have to be alive.”
The youngest American wrestling gold medalist until Kyle Snieder, Cejudo has often been seen sporting replica versions, although not always a replica of the year that he won. One of the medals he has been seen sporting is a remake of the 1972 Munich Olympics gold medal. Cejudo’s reasoning for this though is unknown.
Did you know that Henry’s medals weren’t originals?