09/20/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Son Of Illegal Immigrants, Gold Medalist: "I'm Living The American Dream"

BEIJING -- He has shared everything for most of his scuffled life, from twin beds to sofa cushions to last bites.

It only made sense, then, that when he stunningly won an Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling Tuesday, the Los Angeles-born son of undocumented Mexican immigrants would also share.

With his most beloved piece of cloth.

The American flag.

Oh, what a pair they made, young Henry Cejudo and Old Glory, dancing cloth-to-cheek across the floor of a gym that rocked and roared in disbelief.

That flag gave a chance to a kid who paid for wrestling by selling tamales on the street. That kid now held it tight as he dropped to the mat and dissolved in tears.

"I'm living the American dream," said Cejudo, 21. "The United States is the land of opportunity, and I'm so glad I can represent it."

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