Tamyra Mensah-Stock made history when she made her Olympic debut this week
The 28-year-old U.S. wrestler claimed the gold medal in the 68 kg freestyle category, winning the final against Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu with a final score of 4-1. Mensah-Stock’s two takedowns (separated by one point from Oborududu) put her in the lead in the first period, with no points being put on the board in the second.
It was a monumental victory for Mensah-Stock, and not just because of the medal itself. By securing the win, she became the first Black woman to win gold in wrestling.
Oborududu, too, made history as she earned silver, becoming the first Nigerian athlete to medal in wrestling at the Olympics.
Only one other US woman has won gold in wrestling at the Olympics; Helen Maroulis earned the honor back in 2016.
.@MensahTamStock becomes only the second woman to win gold in @USAWrestling history. #TokyoOlympicspic.twitter.com/7PVYAtvqNT
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) August 3, 2021
Mensah-Stock’s father died in a car accident on the way back from one of her wrestling meets when she was a teenager. Following her big win, she said, “He would have been the loudest one here. He would have been so proud,” according to Team USA.
Apparently, Mensah-Stock has also given jiu-jitsu a try — Rafael Lovato Jr. said that she once put on the gi for a class at Six Blades Jiu-Jitsu Colorado Springs.
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Congratulations to this Olympic champion!
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article noted that Mensah-Stock was the first Black woman from the U.S. to win gold in wrestling. The article has been edited to reflect that she is the first Black woman from any country to win gold.