Tamyra Mensah-Stock Makes History with Wrestling Win: 'I Want To Go Into a Dark Room and Cry'

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Tamyra Mariama Mensah-Stock
Tamyra Mariama Mensah-Stock

Tom Pennington/Getty Tamyra Mensah-Stock

Tamyra Mensah-Stock can't stop crying after taking home gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Competing against Team Nigeria's Blessing Oborududu in the gold medal match, the U.S. wrestler, 28, finished 4-1 to top the podium.

Mensah-Stock's win makes her the first Black woman — and just the second woman — to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling for the United States. The Texas native is also the second Black woman ever to win in this category.

Helen Maroulis was the first American woman to win the gold medal in wrestling at the Rio Games in 2016.

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"I'm feeling very happy and I keep trying not to cry, but it keeps happening," she said, according to a press release from Team USA. "I just want to go into a dark room and cry, but I'm crying from joy."

Tamyra Mariama Mensah-Stock
Tamyra Mariama Mensah-Stock

JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images Tamyra Mensah-Stock

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Mensah-Stock began wrestling in the tenth grade and said that she knew her dreams would carry her far.

"Why? Because I knew that I could do it. When I first started wrestling, I felt that I could be an Olympic champ, so I kept going," she said. "I did it!"

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Mensah-Stock lost her father in high school, but she said that he would've been her biggest fan.

"He would've been the loudest one here," she said. "He would be so proud. He would be so happy."

Her father was of Ghanaian-descent, and she said that he feuded with Nigerian sports teams. Thus, Mensah-Stock found it poetic that she had to wrestle a member of Team Nigeria in the final.

For Mensah-Stock, she says that this win is much bigger than just her winning a gold medal — it's a message to all of the young Black girls who not only look up to her but want to be an Olympic champion someday as well.

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Tamyra Mariama Mensah-Stock
Tamyra Mariama Mensah-Stock

Harry How/Getty Tamyra Mensah-Stock

"It means that they see someone that look like themselves on that podium," she said. "Just because you're a female it doesn't mean that you can't accomplish the biggest of goals, and being an Olympic champ is one of the hardest things I've ever done in my entire life."

Mensah-Stock's first match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was against Sara Dosho, a member of team Japan, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist and 2017 world champion. She then took on Feng Zhou of China. Both of these athletes failed to score a point against Mensah-Stock during their respective rounds.

For the semi-finals she competed against word champion Alla Cherkasova of Ukraine, winning the match 10-4.

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.

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