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Patriotic Wrestler Elated After Historic Gold Medal: 'I Freaking Love Living' in America

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A Chicago-born U.S. wrestler thanked God and expressed joy at representing the United States after becoming the first African-American woman to win gold in wrestling.

Tamyra Mensah-Stock received her gold medal Tuesday at the Tokyo Olympics after defeating Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu 4-1 in the women’s freestyle 68kg finals, according to the Olympics’ organizers.

She is the second U.S. female in the history of the Olympics to win gold in wrestling, after Helen Louise Maroulis’ gold medal victory in the 53kg category in Rio 2016.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are the first the 28-year-old has participated in.

“There were a lot of [nerve-wracking] moments and I just tried to stay calm but it was impossible,” Mensah-Stock, the number 1 seed in the competition, said.

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“I honestly don’t know how I did it, I just kept telling my coaches ‘I’m nervous, I’m scared’ and yeah that’s some insight, it wasn’t pretty.”

When her events began on Monday, Mensah-Stock kept her game up, outperforming her four opponents, which included Rio 2016 gold medallist Sara Dosho, by a combined score of 34-5.

In an interview following her final win, Mensah-Stock could not hold back her tears of joy at her extraordinary victory at the games, as a clip shared on Twitter showed.

“I’m feeling very happy and I keep trying not to cry, but it keeps happening. I just wanna go into a dark room and just cry,” she said.

She told the interviewer that she began wrestling in tenth grade and “kept going” because she knew she could make it as an Olympic champion.

The contagiously cheerful athlete then gave the table one big victorious whack, saying, “I did it!”

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Toward the end of the interview, she unabashedly acknowledged the source of her strength.

“It’s by the grace of God I’m able to even move my feet,” she said, adding, “Like I just leave it in His hands, and I pray that all the practice, that 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 is no cap to the limit that I can do.”

What she said next stood in stark contrast to some of the athletes in the Olympics and NFL who disrespect the national anthem and the country they represent.

Should the U.S. Olympics Committee drop athletes who are ashamed of their country?

Embracing the American flag tightly as the interviewer asked her about how it felt representing the U.S., Mensah-Stock said, “It feels amazing. I love representing the U.S. I freaking love living there. I love it, and I’m so happy I get to represent USA!”

The daughter of an immigrant from Ghana, Mensah-Stock was born in Chicago but grew up in the Houston area, according to The Guardian. She started wrestling after facing bullying from her teammates on her high school track-and-field squad.

During her early years, she came very near to leaving the sport after her father passed away in a car accident that happened when he was coming home after one of her tournaments in high school, the outlet reported.

Yet she persisted until she won a victory that, as she told the interviewer, her father would be proud of.

Mensah-Stock plans to give her mother a large chunk of her $37,500 prize money to help her fulfill her dream.

โ€œI wanted to give my mom $30,000 so she can get a food truck. Itโ€™s her dream,โ€ she said, according to The Guardian. โ€œMy momโ€™s getting her food truck! Sheโ€™s going to have a little cooking business. She can cook really, really, really well — barbecue.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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