Team USA Olympian Tamyra Mensah-Stock Is the First Black Woman to Win Gold in Wrestling
And she's only the second American woman to win gold.
On August 3rd, Katy, Texas-native Tamyra Mensah-Stock defeated three-time Olympian Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria in the Tokyo Games 68-kilogram freestyle wrestling finals 4-1. This makes Mensah-Stock the first Black woman to win a gold medal for wrestling. She’s also only the second American to win gold in the category.
“I’m feeling very happy and I keep trying not to cry, but it keeps happening,” Mensah-Stock said in an interview after her win, per NPR. After being reminded by the interviewer that women have only been allowed to wrestle in the Olympics for less than 20 years, she was asked what her win means to those who wish to follow in her footsteps.
“It means that they see someone like themselves on that podium. Someone like Helen [Maroulis, who was the first American woman to win gold in the 53-kilogram category during the 2016 Rio Games] on that podium showing them just because you’re a female it doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish the biggest of goals. And being an Olympic champ is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. And I can say it’s well worth it.”
The Tokyo Olympics is Mensah-Stock’s first Olympic Games. She won the 68kg event at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials but didn’t qualify for the summer Olympics. In 2019, she won gold at the World Championships, and earlier this year scored gold at the Pan American Championships in Guatemala City.
She’s been working extremely hard to get to this point, and it’s paid off.
We’re crying and jumping with joy, too.