Team USA wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock has become the first Black woman to win Olympic gold in women's wrestling, and is only the second American woman to win the top medal since women's wrestling was added to the Summer Games in 2004.
Mensah-Stock, 28, captured gold after facing off against Nigeria's Blessing Oborududu and winning 4-1, The New York Times reports. She is the second American woman to win Olympic gold at women's wrestling after Helen Maroulis in 2016.
"I pray that all the practice that — the hell that my freaking coaches put me through — pays off. And every single time it does. And I get better and better, and it's so weird that there is no cap to the limit that I can do," Mensah-Stock said after the match. "And I'm excited to see what I have next."
“I’m so happy I get to represent USA!” pic.twitter.com/Y5CcjaPCbK— TheBlaze (@theblaze) August 3, 2021
“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. I can see myself,'" Mensah-Stock added afterwards, the Times reports.
“Look at this natural hair. Come on, man! I made sure I brought my puffballs out so they could know that you can do it, too," she said, adding that she wanted young women to see that “you can be silly, you can have fun, and you can be strong, you can be tough and you can be a wrestler.”
Mensah-Stock previously attended the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio as a practice partner for her teammates after failing to secure a spot in the competition, the Times noted.
The wrestler also made sure to name other female Black wrestlers who have come before her including Toccara Montgomery, who competed in the 2004 games, and Randi Miller, who competed in 2008.
“They paved the way for me, and I was like, ‘I know you guys could have done it, so I’m going out there and I’m going to accomplish this,’” she said.