Wilmington isn’t just a place to BE somebody, it’s for people that ARE somebodies! Retired Olympic Gold medalist in wrestling and former UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion “Triple C” Henry Cejudo visited Wilmington this past month. Cejudo was in town to help coach the LVLS Mini-Camp wrestling clinic facilitated by our former #PeopleOfWilmDE Matt Chacko (read his story here!) and non-profit The Glue.
I sat down with Matt and Henry to chat about Henry’s visit and his impressions of Wilmington during his stay here.
Lauren: Thanks so much for joining us today Henry and Matt! We’re excited to hear about your experience in Wilmington! What brought you here in the first place?
Matt: We brought Henry down for a two day wrestling clinic that we were doing for kids that happens to be in Pennsylvania, right across the border in Delaware County. So logistically when we’re looking at (where to stay) Philly was just a little bit too far away from the actual venue site. And then the vicinity of the area (where the camp) was ‘Ehhh, it’s not really an experience to stay here.’ And you have that experience in Wilmington so it just made sense. We knew Hotel Du Pont was a beautiful place and the restaurants are nice, and it was just 20 minutes to get to everywhere we needed to go. When people step foot into Wilmington and you expose it to them, I think it gives them a new outlook on what’s out here and like the amenities that we have. That’s how we ended up here in Wilmington.
Henry: It’s actually my first time in Delaware, so I had no idea of what was in Delaware or Wilmington! I thought the city was very wholesome and also kind of beautiful. And I learned our President is from here! There’s a beautiful landscape and it’s almost like a hidden gem. It’s like a big little town, that’s the best description that I can kind of give you guys. It’s small but yet it feels big because of the capacity and the buildings and things like that. And you can be in another state within minutes! So it’s definitely an unexpected city that I didn’t expect to be in but I’m happy I did.
Lauren: What did you guys end up doing when you were out here?
Henry: Staying at the Hotel Du Pont, the entire evening was a whole experience, man. From the hotel to going into a luxury restaurant like Bardea to understanding the history of the city dating back to America being founded. Oh man it was amazing, the food, the restaurant, it was top of the line. So like I said before, it was very surprising to be in a city that has luxury restaurants like that.
We partied it up that night at Bardea and didn’t end up anywhere else; that was it, one and done! We literally closed Bardea down (on Friday). It was a short winded trip, but it was an experience within those couple days. I would love to come back and visit!
Lauren: How does Wilmington compare to other cities that you’ve visited?
Henry: It kind of reminds me a bit of Hoboken, NJ because you’re away from the city/the jungle (neighboring cities) but you can be in the jungle. That’s more me, you know the balance: I want to be away from the jungle but close to the jungle, but not too far.
Lauren: Last question on my end, what was your favorite part of visiting Wilmington?
Henry: My favorite part of Wilmington was the weather and the people. You know I live in Arizona and it’s 115 degrees out here. The people here in Wilmington are super super nice man. I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t feel like I was on the East Coast, and the East Coast doesn’t play normally. I felt like it was more of a Southern feel!
Lauren: I really appreciate you and Matt taking the time today, and definitely let me know when you’re coming back because I’m down to go close down a Wilmington restaurant anytime!
Henry: Aw Hell yeah! Let’s do it.