The 2021 Summer Olympic Games have been filled with groundbreaking, historic moments. Just last week, Team USA won the inaugural women's 3x3 basketball tournament and Hidilyn Diaz earned the first gold medal for the Philippines in Olympic history. More recently, Samuel Takyi earned Ghana its first Olympic medal since 1992 and Simone Biles became the most decorated American gymnast in Olympic history. Now, the spotlight is on Tamyra Mensah-Stock, a wrestler out of Texas.
Tamyra Mensah-Stock defeated Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria 4-1 in the women's 68kg freestyle final. By securing gold in this event, Mensah-Stock became the second woman in American history to win gold in any wrestling event. Furthermore, she is the first Black woman to win a gold medal for Team USA in wrestling. This is an honor that the Texas native does not take lightly.
"These young women are going to see themselves in a number of ways and they're going to look up there and go, I can do that," she said about the importance of her win.
"I can see myself."
Mensah-Stock not only hopes to inspire Black girls that follow in her footsteps, but she also hopes to celebrate the Black woman that paved the way for her. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee offers a prize of $37,500 to gold medal recipients and Mensah-Stock plans to give the majority of her earnings to her mother.
“I wanted to give my mom $30,000, so she can get a food truck. It’s her dream,” Mensah-Stock said.
“My mom’s getting her food truck! She’s going to have a little cooking business. She can cook really, really, really well – barbecue. I don’t eat it because I’m a pescatarian now.”
While Mensah-Stock celebrates her victory, she may be in for a historic team celebration as well. Her Olympic teammate, Helen Maroulis, will compete in the women's 57kg freestyle final later today. If she is able to win, Team USA will bring home two gold medals in women's wrestling for the first time in history. Maroulis would also become the first woman in American history to win two gold medals in wrestling.