Rio de Janerio: Misael Rodriguez begged for money on Mexico City's streets and buses to fulfil his dream of reaching the Rio Olympics and now aims to repay the public's generosity with boxing gold.
The middleweight kissed the canvas after defeating Hosam Abdin from Egypt to reach Thursday's semi-finals, meaning he has captured Games bronze at the minimum.
Mexico is yet to win a medal in Brazil.
"It was well worth all the pain," he said afterwards, referring to his exhaustive fundraising efforts that finally got him to Rio.
The 22-year-old Rodriguez and other Mexican boxers say they got scant financial support from the government, forcing them to go cap in hand to the public.
He takes on Bektemir Melikuziev of Uzbekistan in the semis.