Forget Michael Phelps. If you really want tough, look at Henry Cejudo who took the gold on Tuesday in Olympic freestyle 55-kilogram wrestling.
I’ll admit I’m biased – this is my old sport, after all. But wrestling is in a league way beyond all the other Olympic activities. For one thing, wrestling is not a civil or sanitized sport like swimming or gymnastics. It’s a primal and savage activity which is essentially full-on, hand-to-hand combat between two weaponless opponents.
Bottom line, sport wrestling (as opposed to the trash entertainment “professional wrestling”) is basically you and another human being in a public fight to the death – only the rules prevent you from killing or maiming your adversary. And to get to the level of Cejudo, you have to be stronger, smarter, faster, and much more mentally fierce than the endless stream of opponents constantly looking to vanquish you in the arena and metaphorically end your life.
So hat’s off to Cejudo. He’s a true Spartan and one tough SOB…