Recently, finding an athlete that is overjoyed to be representing the United States of America has been pretty difficult.
Olympic shot putter Raven Saunders protested on the podium for all the “oppressed” by forming an “X” with her arms, Gwen Berry turned her back to the flag during the National Anthem at the Olympic Trials, and the entire women’s soccer team took a knee before their first Olympic match in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
But not every athlete is unappreciative of what this country provides.
Tamyra Mensah-Stock is an olympic wrestler, and now has a gold medal to her name — and she was ecstatic to drape herself in the American flag.
On Tuesday, Mensah-Stock defeated Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria 4-1 in the women’s 68-kilogram freestyle wrestling final, becoming just the second American woman to win gold in the event, and the first black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold.
“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,” she said. “I can see myself.”
After her victory, Mensah-Stock could barely control her happiness — and appreciation — in her post-match interview.
“I surprised myself! It’s by the grace of God I’m able even to move my feet,” Mensah-Stock said. “I just leave it in his hands. And I pray that all the practice, 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’s no cap to the limit I can do. And I’m excited to see what I have next.”
When asked by the reporter how it felt to represent her country, Mensah-Stock responded in a way that will warm every American’s heart.
“It feels amazing,” said Mensah-Stock. “I love representing the U.S. I freaking love living there. I love it. And I’m so happy I get to represent U.S.A!”
“I’m so happy I get to represent USA!” pic.twitter.com/Y5CcjaPCbK
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) August 3, 2021
She entered the Olympics as the number one overall seed, beating Japan’s Sara Dosho, China’s Feng Zhao, and Ukraine’s Alla Cherkasova to advance to the wrestling finals against a three-time Olympian in Oborududu.
“Well, you’ve got to beat the best to know that you’re the best,” Mensah-Stock said. “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.”
As with most Olympians, the 28-year-old gold medalist has had a winding journey to get where she is today.
She picked up wrestling in high school at the behest of her sister after some of her track and field teammates bullied her. In her first year, she reached the state finals and went on to win state titles in her junior and senior years. She attended Wayland Baptist — a small college in Plainview, TX — where she won two national titles.
Tragically, her father passed away in a car accident after falling asleep at the wheel while on his way to watch Mensah-Stock and her sister compete in a high school wrestling tournament.
“He would’ve been the loudest one here,” Tamyra Mensah-Stock said Tuesday. “He would be so proud. He would be so happy.”
Through all the difficulties in life, Mensah-Stock seems to have kept an incredibly positive outlook. Her upbeat personality at the Tokyo Olympics has been so infectious, The Guardian wrote an article titled, “Is US wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock the most upbeat athlete at Tokyo 2020?”
According to The Guardian, Mensah-Stock will receive $37,500 for winning the gold medal, and she knows exactly what she’ll be doing with her winnings.
“I wanted to give my mom $30,000 so she can get a food truck. It’s her dream,” she said. “My mom’s getting her food truck! She’s going to have a little cooking business. She can cook really, really, really well – barbecue. I don’t eat it because I’m a pescatarian now.”
Mensah-Stock is a refreshing change of pace after the past few months leading up to the Olympics. She isn’t claiming that she’s oppressed, or that the playing of the national anthem was “disrespectful.” She’s just happy to be an Olympian, and happy to call the U.S. home.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].
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