She’s the best!
Tamyra Mensah-Stock just made history as the first Black American wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal, AP News reports.
Mensah-Stock is the No.1 seed, defeating Japan’s Sara Dosho, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, in the first round, China’s Feng Zhao in the quarterfinals, and Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova in the semifinal. She then defeated Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu in the final, coming out victorious 4-1 and making history as the first American Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling and the second American overall.
You can just tell how hard she has worked for that #Gold Tamyra Mensah-Stock right after winning #Wrestling #Olympics. More primetime coverage on @nbcbayarea right now (cable 3 – antenna 11) #TamyraMensahStock pic.twitter.com/MOMzPmg0Boadvertisement
— Jeff Ranieri (@JeffRanieri) August 4, 2021
Mensah-Stock said it was a special moment for her, particularly wrestling against Oborududu, who also made history as the first Nigerian, male or female, to earn an Olympic wrestling medal.
“I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, look at us representing. It’s so freaking awesome. You’re making history; I’m making history. We’re making history. So it meant a lot,” Mensah-Stock said.
Oborududu is the No. 2 seed and a three-time Olympian, something Mensah-Stock said she didn’t take lightly.
“Well, you’ve got to beat the best to know that you’re the best. And that’s what I keep telling myself. It doesn’t matter the draw. You go out there, and you beat whoever is in front of you because that’s how you tell somebody that you were the best. I’m the bad draw.”
While she is the first Black American woman to earn an Olympic gold medal in wrestling, Mensah-Stock is not the first Black woman to make strides in the sport. She credits all of those who came before her with paving the way.
In 2003, Toccara Montgomery took home the gold at the Pan-Am Games, Iris Smith following her lead by winning a world title in 2005, and Randi Miller coming behind them, earning bronze at the 2008 Olympics.
Mensah-Stock said she hopes to inspire other Black girls in America to take up wrestling as a sport.
“These 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,” she said.
United States’ Tamyra Mensah-Stock became the first Black woman to win gold in wrestling when she defeated Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu 4-1 in the women’s freestyle 68kg wrestling final at the #TokyoOlympics. https://t.co/e7knRGltj0 pic.twitter.com/NjXzCe3U97advertisement
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) August 4, 2021
Photo Courtesy of Aaron Favila/Associated Press