History-Making Olympian Uses Prize Money To Buy Her Mom A Food Truck

by Kristina Johnson
Tamyra Mariama Mensah Stock/Instagram and Tom Pennington/Getty

Tamyra Mensah-Stock made history in Tokyo — now she’s saying thank you in a major way to her mama

You know you’ve done something right as a mom when your kid makes it all the way to the Olympics. Wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock’s mom must have done a whole lot of things right, because not only did Mensah-Stock win gold (becoming the first Black American woman to ever do so in her sport), she also turned around and unveiled a plan to make her mother’s lifelong dream come true.

Mensah-Stock told People magazine that she knows what she’s doing with a big cut of her $37,500 prize money: she’s buying her mom a food truck!

“She’s always doing back-breaking work… I’ve just seen her struggling ever since my dad died and I don’t like seeing it,” the wrestler explained. Her dad died when she was in high school, leaving her mother Shonda Wells to raise her as a single parent. Tragically, her father was in a car crash driving home from of Mensah-Stock’s wrestling meets, according to Yahoo! Sports.

“I wanted to give my mom $30,000 so she can get a food truck, ‘cause it’s her dream,” she said in a post-Gold medal press conference, adding that she’d made the promise five years ago. “She’s gonna have her little cooking business. She can cook really, really, really well. Barbecue!”

Mensah-Stock said that her mom had previously been working with a small portable grill to make and sell sandwiches — a set up she admitted was “not exactly the best legal method.” Now, though, her mom will be able to go legit, and they’ve already got a name for the food truck picked out: The Lady Bug!

Long before announcing her amazing gift, Mensah-Stock made it clear that her mom has been her rock. “She has been the strongest woman that I have ever known in my life. I’ve been so blessed to have her as a mother. Through hard times and good times she has been by my side and I thank God she has been in my life,” she wrote in a sweet Mother’s Day post.

Despite their obvious close bond, Mensah-Stock herself might not be her mom’s best customer, since she says she is now mostly a pescatarian. But loyal customer or not, she’ll clearly be rooting hard for her mother to succeed in the new venture.