IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo is retiring after his comeback bid ended with a loss in the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic trials.
Cejudo was the freestyle champion in Beijing four years ago at 55 kilograms. He fell to top-seeded Nick Simmons 3-0, 5-9, 5-2 on Sunday.
Cejudo removed his shoes after the loss, symbolic of a wrestler calling it quits, and flung them into the crowd in Iowa City.
Cejudo, a native of Phoenix, was the only U.S. wrestler to win gold in the Beijing Games. Cejudo didn’t wrestle for three years and competed in just a few tournaments before returning for the Olympic trials.
Cejudo says he returned to the sport to inspire people, adding that he’s at peace with his decision to retire.