Unapologetically patriotic U.S. gold medalist Tamyra Mensah-Stock is using her Olympic prize money to buy her mother a food truck.
The wrestler said she’s seen her mother struggle since the day her father died in a tragic car accident when Mensah-Stock was still in high school — he was driving home from one of her wrestling matches. Now, the 28-year-old wants to ease her mother’s burdens and help fulfill her “dream.”
As a gold medal Olympian, Mensah-Stock receives $37,500, paid out by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. It’s all going to her mom.
“She’s always doing back-breaking work and … I’ve just seen her struggling ever since my dad died and I don’t like seeing it,” the gold medalist told PEOPLE magazine on Friday.
“I made a promise to her and she loves cooking,” Mensah-Stock said. “It’s just one of her passions. Growing up, we’d be like, ‘Ooh, mommy, you put your back into this food. Like you literally put your foot in it.’ ”
The wrestler recalled her mother using a portable grill to make and sell food off of when Mensah-Stock was a little girl, which the wrestler said was “not exactly the best legal method.”
“So how about I buy you a food truck and you can be anywhere you want to be?” Mensah-Stock said she told her mother. “[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.’”
Now, Mensah-Stock can make her mother’s “dream come true,” she said.
“It is going to be pleasant. It’s going to be legal. It’s going to be fun,” the wrestler added.
And she’s even got a name in mind for the food truck: “The Lady Bug.”
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, Mensah-Stock quickly captured the hearts of the American people last week when she reacted to her gold medal win. Overcome with emotion, the wrestler wrapped herself in the red, white, and blue and thanked God and expressed her gratitude for our country — something not entirely common among U.S. athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.
“I surprised myself! It’s by the grace of God I’m able even to move my feet,” Mensah-Stock said following the championship match. “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 a reporter how it felt to represent her country, Mensah-Stock said it felt “amazing.”
“I love representing the U.S. I freaking love living there,” the athlete said. “I love it. And I’m so happy I get to represent USA!”
“I’m so happy I get to represent USA!” pic.twitter.com/Y5CcjaPCbK
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) August 3, 2021
Daily Wire sports reporter Joe Morgan outlined some of Mensah-Stock’s interesting journey to becoming a wrestling Olympic champion:
[Mensah-Stock] 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 home from watching 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.”
Related: ‘I Love Representing The U.S.’: American Wrestler Gives Patriotic Victory Speech After Winning Gold Medal