From Plainview to the Podium: WBU’s Tamyra Mensah-Stock claims Olympic gold
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The tears came almost immediately after the match, peaked during the post-match interviews and kept on through Tuesday’s medal ceremony. Tamyra Mensah-Stock, who won national titles wrestling for Wayland Baptist in 2015 and 2017, has won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
While squaring off against Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria in the finals to the Women’s 68 Kg Freestyle division, all of the match points came in the first half. One minute in, Mensah-Stock gained two points as she lunged forward and scored the first takedown. Her second takedown happened seconds later as Wayland-alum fought off a counter-attack and maintained a 4-1 lead and soon became Olympic champion- much to the joy to her friends and coaches in USA Wrestling, the small contingency allowed to attend the Tokyo Games.
That same score held in the second half, which saw more of a defensive style of wrestling as Mensah-Stock shook off any attack from her Oborududu and sealed the victory. As soon her arm was raised as victor, she followed up giving a heart-sign with her hands, and soon broke down into tears. The emotions carried all through the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Mensah-Stock’s father passed way in a car wreck while she was a senior at Morton Ranch High School in Katy, Texas. He also played a major role in her wrestling career.
“He would’ve been the loudest one here. He would’ve been so proud, he would’ve been so happy,” she cried.
Since her late father came from Ghana, the former Pioneer said a win over the rival nation Nigeria made the moment that much more special.
Ever since women have been allowed to wrestle in the Olympics, Tamyra has become the second woman to wrestle for a gold medal. The first was Helen Maroulis, who won gold in the Women’s 58 Kg.
“It means that they see someone like themselves, someone like Helen on that podium,” she said. “Just because you’re a female doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish your biggest goals, and being an Olympic champ is one of the hardest things I have done in my entire life.”
Coming into these Games, Mensah-Stock has already had an impressive resume- which includes a gold at the Pan-American Games, followed by a world championship earned weeks later.
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