After a hard-fought Summer Games in which U.S. wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock won her first Olympic gold medal, being the best at what you do in the entire world provides the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to something nice. But instead of splurging on a new car or an exotic getaway with her $37,500 in prize money—which will be tax-free courtesy of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee since her gross income is under $1 million—the bubbly 28-year-old will pour her winnings into making her mother’s dreams come true.
In speaking with People, Mensah-Stock, who became the first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold for the United States while competing in Tokyo, revealed that her master plan is to purchase a food truck for her mother.
“She’s always doing back-breaking work,” she said. “I’ve just seen her struggling ever since my dad died and I don’t like seeing it.”
When she was still in high school, Mensah-Stock lost her father in a car accident while driving home from a wrestling meet.
“He would have been the loudest one here,” she said of her father after she became an Olympic champion. “He would have been so proud.”
In his absence, her mother has not only continued to provide the Wayland Baptist University alum with love and support throughout her Olympic journey, but she gave Mensah-Stock an extra dose of motivation to compete at the highest level.
“I made a promise to her and she loves cooking,” Mensah-Stock told People. “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.’”
She also recounts telling her Mom five years ago, “‘So how about I buy you a food truck and you can be anywhere you want to be?’ [My mom] was ecstatic. She’s like, ‘Yes, I would love that.’”
In the interim, her mother has made do with a portable grill that Mensah-Stock admits “is not exactly the best legal method,” but thankfully that will no longer be a concern. With the purchase of The Lady Bug—yes, the food truck hasn’t even been purchased yet and already has a name—her mother will finally be able to cook and sell food to her heart’s content.
“It is going to be pleasant,” Mensah-Stock said. “It’s going to be legal. It’s going to be fun.”