In international sports, a gold medal is the shining symbol of a champion’s victory, with every medal won a proud highlight for the country one represents.
Few things are more rewarding than making one’s family proud. Many of us wish to make our parents happy with our success stories, paying them back for everything they have done to help raise us to be the people we are.
This is why one Olympic champion decided to share her winnings with her mother to allow her to live out her dream.
Victor of the ring
Tamyra Mensah-Stock is a true American champion. The wrestler delivered a patriotic speech upon winning gold at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. She thanked God and America for the huge win she secured, which was especially notable given the unpatriotic actions of some other U.S. athletes at the Olympics.
“I surprised myself! It’s by the grace of God I’m able even to move my feet,” she said after her win. “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.”
“It feels amazing,” Mensah-Stock said with overwhelming enthusiasm to a reporter who asked her about the American flag around her back. “I love representing the U.S. I freaking love living there. I love it, and I’m so happy I get to represent U-S-A!”
Upon winning the gold medal, Mensah-Stock also received $37,500 from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. The prize money could be used for any number of luxuries, but Mensah-Stock had another brilliant idea. Instead of using the money herself, she decided to give it all to her loving mother to make her “dream come true.”
Gift on four wheels
Tamyra Mensah-Stock was born in Chicago to a Ghanian father and mother who “had to fight,” but before she was one year old, the family moved to Texas.
Tragically, when she was in high school, her father died in a car accident on the way home from one of her wrestling matches.
Mensah-Stock said that her father would have been the “loudest” one in the stadium. As her biggest fan, he would have been ecstatic over her gold medal win.
Her mother felt the same way.
According to Mensah-Stock, her mother loves to cook, putting her heart and soul into the food she makes.
“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.’”
However, she also added that doing so was “not exactly the best legal method.”
“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,” Mensah-Stock told People magazine.
The Olympian, therefore, made the decision to give her mother the prize money by purchasing a far more convenient way for her to share her passion with people.
“So how about I buy you a food truck and you can be anywhere you want to be?” the wrestler told her mother. When she offered her mother the truck, her mother 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.’”
Tamyra Mensah-Stock’s golden gift to her mother serves as an example of a child’s gracious love for her family. After everything our parents have done for us, we must take the initiative to thank them with all our hearts. Even if somebody is no longer with us, we must cherish their memory and continue to love those around us to forge a better, brighter future for us all.