By Alma Ramos-McDermott
How does a poor Mexican-American kid pull himself out of the slums to win a 2006 Beijing Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling?
In bold, descriptive language, Henry Cejudo tells his story in the book “American Victory,” published by Penguin Books. In the autobiography, Henry shares memories of his alcoholic father who constantly stole from the family, even stealing their Christmas presents, and was never at home.
He tells of the unconditional love of his mother who sacrificed everything to take care of him, and writes of the closeness he shares with his brothers and sisters.
No matter how poor they were, no matter in what hole-in-the-wall they lived in, no matter how many times they fought among themselves, Henry loved his family — he also loved wrestling. He set his mind on winning a gold medal one day for the country he loved, and for those who loved him.
With a fresh honesty and insight into the struggles it takes to achieve this dream born out of life’s challenges, Cejudo takes readers on a raw journey to achieve what seemed impossible – win a gold medal.
Through his accomplishment, Cejudo showed millions that what may seem impossible can be achieved. Dreams can come true.
“American Victory” shows readers that the impossible can become possible.
Alma Ramos-McDermott is a school librarian in Needham, Massachusetts and part of the Review ‘n Receive book review program.