The father of Tamyra Mensah-Stock, came to the United States from Ghana at 30 and this child of an immigrant has made history in Team USA. It should be noted that, since 2004 when women’s wrestling was added to the Summer Olympics, a Black female wrestler has never won gold. Tamyra went up against 32 year old Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria, who also made history as the first Nigerian wrestler to take the podium at the Olympics.
At the Makuhari Messe Hall during the light heavyweight gold medal match on Tuesday, the Houston native made history when she became the first Black woman to win a wrestling gold. The 28-year-old athlete also became the second American woman to win the top prize, following Helen Maroulis’ gold at the 2016 Rio Games.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “I love representing the U.S. I freaking love living there, I love it, and I’m so happy I get to represent U-S-A!”
She said the victory meant even more because of her family’s heritage in Ghana; where her late father was from. Her father died in a car crash coming home from one of her high school wrestling meets; according to a post from Team USA on her victory.
“He would have been the loudest one here,” she said through tears, adding that Ghana and Nigeria are rivals. “He would be so proud. He would be so happy.”
“Oh my gosh, look at us representing,” Tamyra Mensah-Stock said of the historic moment. “And I’m like, if one of us wins, we’re making history. You’re making history, I’m making history, we’re making history. It’s fantastic. It meant a lot. I’m so proud of Blessing. I was looking at her, ‘Dang, she’s killing it.’ But I can kill it, too.”