CHIBA, Japan — U.S. wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock is celebrating after winning an Olympic gold medal in the women’s 68-kilogram freestyle wrestling final.
The win makes Mensah-Stock the first Black U.S. women’s wrestler to win Olympic gold.
Mensah-Stock defeated Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu 4-1, making her the second American woman overall to nab the medal.
“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 told MSNBC. “I can see myself.”
And she isn’t lacking in confidence.
“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.”
While the U.S. celebrated the victory, Nigeria also had much to celebrate. Oborududu also made history as the first Nigerian to earn a wrestling medal at the Olympics.
Male or female.
She admitted that the attention was overwhelming.
“After wrestling to get into the final yesterday, I was having a lot of messages, a lot of calls,” Oborududu said. “I locked down my phone, because I don’t want to receive any calls, or anything that was really disturbing me. I switched off my phone so I was not in any kind of pressure. I know that I’ve created the record for my country.”
Mensah-Stock’s father, who is from Ghana, told the publication that she is “proud” of the fact that she wrestled a Black African woman for the gold medal. Her father passed away while she was still in high school.
“I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, look at us representing,” Mensah-Stock said. “It’s so freaking awesome. You’re making history, I’m making history. We’re making history. So it meant a lot.”
Team USA’s Helen Maroulis won gold in the event in 2016.