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.
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:
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.
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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.”