U.S. Olympic wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock earned the affection of millions when she proudly declared her love for her country after winning a gold medal. Now back home, the beloved athlete is using the money she received from her victory to bless her widowed mother.

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She told People she’s watched as her mother struggled in the wake of her father’s tragic death. Mensah-Stock’s dad was on his way home from one of his daughter’s high school wrestling matches when he got into a fatal car accident.

Watch Mensah-Stock talk about her dad in 2015:

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As a gold-winning Olympian, Mensah-Stock will receive $37,500, paid out by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Every penny, she said, is going to fulfill her mom’s “dream” of owning a food truck.

“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,” she told the magazine in an interview published Friday.

The Grapevine, Texas, native recalled her mom using a portable grill in the past from which she would make — and sell — food.


Five years ago, the wrestler asked her mom if she would like a food truck, an idea Mensah-Stock said her mother “was ecstatic” about, noting selling food from a portable grill is “not exactly the best legal method.”

She kept asking her mother for patience, and now the dream is coming true.

“It’s going to be pleasant,” Mensah-Stock said. “It’s going to be legal. It’s going to be fun.”

Her mom already has a name for the food truck, too: “The Lady Bug.”

Last week, Mensah-Stock heaped praise on the U.S. after she won a gold medal during the Tokyo Olympics. The 28-year-old made history as only the second woman — and the first black woman — to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal for the U.S. in the women’s 68-kilogram freestyle final.

“I love representing the U.S.,” she declared. “I love living here. I love it. And I’m so happy I get to represent USA!”

She also credited God, saying, “It’s by the grace of God I’m even able to move my feet. I just leave it in His hands and I pray that all the practice … my coaches put me through pays off and, every single time, it does.”

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