With her $37,500 cash prize, Mensah-Stock will buy her mother a food truck after seeing her struggle to make ends meet since her father's death.
Early last week, wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock won gold in the Olympics women's freestyle match (68 kilograms) against Nigerian silver medalist Blessing Oborududu. In addition to the gold medal, the superstar athlete was granted a $37,500 cash prize. She said she plans to use her winnings to help her mother purchase a food truck. The Katy, Texas native is the first Black woman to win an Olympics gold for the USA at wrestling, making the event an even more momentous occasion. According to the gold medalist, her mom is a phenomenal cook who plans to serve amazing barbecue food through her food truck, ABC 7 News reports.
Here comes the Olympic champion!!!— USA Wrestling (@USAWrestling) August 3, 2021
Tamyra Mensah Stock (USA)
Photo by John Sachs pic.twitter.com/Vs8oqakHYR
"I wanted to give my mom $30,000 to get a food truck," Mensah-Stock shared in an interview following her Olympics win on August 3. "It is her dream. I told her five years ago, 'I'll get you your food truck, but you have got to be responsible.' She was like, 'Thank you, baby.' So my mom is getting her food truck! She can cook, really really well." Her cash winnings will be tax-exempt, thanks to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. This is primarily because her gross income is under $1 million.
She added in an interview with PEOPLE Magazine, "[My mom is] always doing back-breaking work and I have just seen her struggling ever since my dad died and I do not like seeing it. Growing up, we would be like, 'Oh, mommy, you put your back into this food. Like you literally put your foot in it.' It is just one of her passions." In the past, Mensah-Stock's mother would use a portable grill to cook and sell food off of. However, the wrestler, aged 28, acknowledged that this method was "not exactly the best legal method."
Now, her mother will not have to worry about cooking and selling food illegally. Mensah-Stock said, "It is going to be pleasant. It is going to be legal. It is going to be fun." The gift is incredibly special as the wrestler's mother was one of the strongest pillars of support throughout her journey. In her father's absence, Mensah-Stock's mother continued to provide her with immense love and support, as well as an extra dose of motivation to compete at the highest level. Nonetheless, the Olympic champion remembered her father's unparalleled contribution to her athletic journey. "He would have been the loudest one here," she noted. "He would have been so proud."
Tamyra Mensah-Stock, 28, a Texas native whose father came to the U.S. from Ghana, became the first Black woman to win a gold medal in wrestling since the women's competition was added to the Summer Olympics in 2004. https://t.co/5ATmG5Xs6X pic.twitter.com/dun0w2aUaL— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 3, 2021
Mensah-Stock joined the wrestling team during her sophomore year at Morton Ranch High School in Katy, Texas, after her twin sister Tarkyia and the wrestling coach convinced her to do so. In 2010 and 2011, she became the Texas High School Girls Champion after having finished second in 2009. She went on to attend Wayland Baptist University where she competed as a student wrestler. She became the Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) Nationals Champion in 2014 and 2017. She also took third place in the 2013 United States Universities Championship and first place in 2015.