On Tuesday, Mensah-Stock made headlines becoming the first black female wrestler to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Such headlines entirely miss the point: Black athletes have been winning gold medals at the Olympics since John Baxter Taylor Jr won a gold medal in track at the 1908 Olympics.
No, she is fully American. No asterisk. No qualification. No hyphenation, except in her last name. In the post-medal interview, Tamyra Mensah-Stock made it clear that she loves America and is proud to be an American. Watch:
“Of course, I suprised myself,” she said. “It’s by the grace of God that I can even move my feet. I just leave it in His hands. And I pray that all the practice that the hell that my freaking coach has put me through pays off. And every single time it does.”
“And I get better and better,” she added. “It’s so weird that there is no cap to the limit that I can do. And I’m excited to see what I can do next.”
Then, she was asked about the American flag and how it feels to represent her country. Her answer didn’t disappoint.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “I love representing the U.S. I freaking love living there. I love it. And I’m so happy that I get to represent U.S.A.!”
Her outstanding display of patriotism and emotion was captured on Twitter by Mr. Pat Mineo of the Wrestling Room, and it was shared by Dana White.
The U.S.A. could use a lot more of whatever Tamyra Mensah-Stock has in her bloodstream. Because her patriotism and her gratitude for living in what has been one of the freest and greatest nations in the world is almost unmatched.