Women’s wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock set social media aflame with her national pride Tuesday after she proclaimed her love for representing the US at this year’s Olympics.
The 28 year old had just made history, becoming the second American and the first black woman to win the Gold in the sport’s 17-year history in the games, and appeared overwhelmed with joy.
Standing with the American flag draped around her she was asked what it felt like to represent the United States.
‘It feels amazing’ she exclaimed. ‘I love representing the US, I freaking love living there. I love it and I’m so happy I get to represent USA. Love it.’
Women’s wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock showed off her national pride after winning the gold in women’s wrestling, telling her interviewer ‘I love representing the US, I freaking love living there’
Stock-Mensah made history with her win, becoming the second American and the first black woman to win the Gold in the history of women’s wrestling at the Olympics. She celebrates defeating Blessing Oborududu of Team Nigeria during the Women’s Freestyle 68kg Gold Medal Match on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Makuhari Messe Hall on August 03
Mensah-Stock had gone up against Blessing Oborududu (left) of Nigeria to win the Gold in the women’s freestyle light heavyweight category
Shortly after her win Mensah-Stock she threw her hands in the air and made a heart symbol
We need to protect this woman at all costs… An infectious beam of positivity, her spirit is undeniable. What an incredible representative of our sport and our great country. This interview is so emotional! We are SO proud of you! #TMS @MensahTamStock pic.twitter.com/372k1gpu0O
— The Wrestling Room (Pat Mineo) (@MrPatMineo) August 3, 2021
The Tokyo games were her first appearance at the Olympics, and Mensah-Stock had competed in the women’s freestyle light heavyweight category, defeating Blessing Oborududu from Nigeria to win the Gold in the final.
She curled her hands into a heart-shaped gesture immediately after her win and was in tears.
Earlier in the competition she went up against 2016 Gold medalist Sara Dosho from Japan.
She started wrestling at age 15, around the time when her father was killed in a car accident on the way back from one of her matches.
On Tuesday, she said she would give $30,000 of her winnings from the win to her mother Shonda so she can buy the food truck she has always dreamed of owning.
Mensah-Stock’s expression of love for representing her country came in contrast with other recent high-profile political protests by other US athletes competing at this year’s games.
On Sunday, shot putter Raven Saunders raised her arms above her head on the podium and formed an ‘X’ with her wrists in protest as she claimed her silver medal.
Mensah-Stock’s national pride came in contrast to other high-profile political protests at this year’s Olympics. On Sunday, US women’s shot putter Raven Saunders posed with her silver medal her arms crossed in the air in an ‘x,’ which she said represented, ‘the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet’
Additionally while the anthem played at the June 26 trials in Eugene, Oregon , Gwen Berry (left) placed her left hand on her hip and shuffled her feet before turning away toward the stands away from the American flag
The 25-year-old American explained the crossing of her wrists as ‘the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet’.
Saunders’ protest came after Gwen Berry’s perhaps the best known ‘activist athlete.’
Berry, 31, staged a high profile protest during the Olympic trials on June 26 – turning to away from the American flag to face the stands during the National Anthem.
She put her hands on her hips and then held up a t-shirt bearing the words ‘athlete activist’.
She would go on to fail to win a medal Tuesday in the hammer toss.
Berry’s actions were seen as disrespectful by many, with conservative commentators calling for her to be kicked out of the Olympic squad as a result.
By contrast, commentators on social media appeared to notice the difference in demeanor displayed by Mensah-Stock.
Commentators on social media would notice the difference, noting Mensah-Stock’s wholesome demeanor and love for her country
‘Finally some authentic response from a real human being for once. Congrats,’ wrote one Twitter user.
‘Now there’s a breath of fresh air,’ wrote another.
‘Nice to see someone purely just happy & grateful,’ commented another.
‘Congrats on the win. This is a true Olympian,’ wrote another.
‘Now THAT, is a USA Athlete in the Olympics,’ tweeted one user.
‘Amazing – all those kneeling virtue signalling divisive gesture athletes should hang their heads in shame in front of a real patriot!!’ posted another.
‘We need to protect this woman at all costs… An infectious beam of positivity, her spirit is undeniable. What an incredible representative of our sport and our great country,’ tweeted Pat Mineo, founder of the Wrestling Room, along with video from Mensah-Stock’s interview.
Upon her father, Prince Mensah’s death, she nearly quit the sport, blaming it for his death, but on Tuesday, she said she knew he would be proud.
‘He would be the loudest one here. He would be so proud, he would be so happy,’ she said emotionally.
She received a $37,000 check for winning gold which is the award given to all American gold medal winners by the US team.
Mensah-Stock told her interviewer that she always knew she had it in her to become an Olympic champion, and that the sky’s the limit for what’s next.
She started wrestling at age 15, but her father died shortly after in a car accident on his way home from one of her wrestling matches
‘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,’ she said. ‘It’s so weird that there is no cap to the limit that I can do and I’m excited to see what I have next.’
She said she hopes to serve as an inspiration for women across the country.
‘It means that they see someone like themselves on that podium someone like Helen [Maroulis] on the podium showing them that just because you’re a female it doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish the biggest of goals and being an Olypmic champ is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.’
Tamyra is married to wrestler Jacob Stock, and after their wedding five years ago, she decided to hyphenate her last name, to Mensah-Stock, in honor of her late father.
For her next goal, she said, ‘I can’t wait to be home with my husband and my dog to celebrate with them.’