Tamyra Mensah-Stock walked away from the Olympics with gold. Now, she’s using her heart of gold to give back to the woman that made it all possible — her mother.
The 28-year-old athlete made history during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when she became the first Black woman to win a gold medal in wrestling. After defeating Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu in the women’s 68-kilogram freestyle wrestling, Mensah-Stock secured a spot in the history books by becoming the first Black American woman to win a gold medal in wrestling. She is the second American woman to walk away with the title.
“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 following the historic win. “I can see myself.”
Not only is she encouraging others with her winning spirit, but she’s also giving back to her mother, the woman that is the blueprint. After losing her father in a tragic car accident following one of her wrestling matches, Mensah-Stock almost did not return to the sport, but thanks to her mother, she made the decision to persevere. Now, she just wants to see her mother happy after all of the sacrifices she made that led to her big win at the Olympics.
“She’s always doing back-breaking work,” she said in an interview with People. “I’ve just seen her struggling ever since my dad died and I don’t like seeing it.”
According to Blackbusiness.com, the Chicago-native will use her prize money to invest in her mother’s love for cooking. She will use the $37,500 in tax-free prize money received on behalf of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to purchase a food truck to fuel her mother’s cooking business which she says hasn’t been able to thrive.
“It is going to be pleasant. It’s going to be legal. It’s going to be fun,” she said, noting that her mother currently uses a portable grill for cooking — which hasn’t been the best route legally.
As a solution to this legal issue, the athlete suggested her mom take a different route with her business years ago, according to People.
“So how about I buy you a food truck and you can be anywhere you want to be?” she said. “[My mom] was ecstatic. She’s like, ‘Yes, I would love that.’ This is five years ago. And I just keep telling her, ‘Just hold off, mommy, please just hold off.'”
After learning of her plans to purchase the food truck for her mother, Cameron Davies, owner of Cruising Kitchens wanted in on helping these dreams come true. Per USA Today, Cruising Kitchens, a food truck manufacturing company, equipped the Olympian’s mother with a $250,000 truck filled with “all the bells and whistles.”
Looks like those five years of holding off have now paid off.
Editorial Note: This piece has been updated since initially published.