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A Good Read: Son of Undocumented Parents Wins the Gold

By Mary Ann Zehr — August 20, 2008 1 min read

Don’t miss the New York Times story about Henry Cejudo, who won the 121-pound freestyle wrestling final yesterday in the Olympics (hat tip to ImmigrationProf Blog). His mom entered the United States illegally from Mexico and struggled over the years to put food on the table for her seven children.

Take note of how, like with Lopez Lomong, the Sudanese refugee who competed for the United States in the 1,500-meter race at the Olympics, educators played a role in helping Mr. Cejudo to become a star.

Frank Saenz, Cejudo’s coach at Maryvale High School, was the one who raised money for him to enter tournaments by knocking on doors and pleading for donations. Tracy Greiff, another wrestling coach from the Phoenix area, was the one who had told Cejudo in seventh grade that he would win an Olympic gold. Greiff said he sold hundreds of tickets to travel here and sit in the rowdiest section this venue has seen.

As for Lopez Lomong, he made it to the semifinals in the 1,500-meter event at the Olympics before being eliminated. A column published today in the Los Angeles Times tells about his relationship with his track coach at Tully High School in Tully, N.Y.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.