Olympic gold medalist Tamyra Mensah-Stock disclosed on Saturday, Aug. 7, during an interview with PEOPLE magazine that she plans to purchase her mother, Shonda Wells, a food truck because of the immense support she has received from Wells on her journey to victory.
This initial interview comes after Mensah-Stock became the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling for Team USA, following her 4-1 triumph over Team Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu.
The 28-year-old, who grew up in Katy, Texas, and wrestled at Morton Ranch High School, is only the second American woman to win Olympic gold in wrestling. In 2016, Helen Maroulis became the first to win after women’s Olympic wrestling debuted in 2004.
Soon after her win, Mensah-Stock was awarded $37,500, a bulk of which she revealed during a press conference she would use to purchase a food truck for her mother. She said, “I wanted to give my mom $30,000 to get a food truck. It’s her dream. I told her five years ago, ‘I’ll get you your food truck, but you gotta be responsible.’ She’s like, ‘Thank you, baby’…so my mom’s getting her food truck! She can cook, really really well.”
Mensah-Stock recounted that particular moment when she told the publication why purchasing the food truck for her mother was significant. The athlete shared the struggles Wells endured being a certified nursing assistant following the passing of her father. “She’s [Wells] 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’s father tragically passed away in a car accident in 2009 while she was in high school after driving home from one of her tournaments.
Mensah-Stock added because of Wells’ hardships and her love for cooking, she promised to buy the food truck. “I made a promise to her, and she loves cooking. It’s just one of her passions.”
The gold medalist emphasized her mother’s love affair with cooking went so far that Wells would carry a portable grill and sell food. “She would have a little grill that she likes to carry around, and she likes to sell food off of it.” Because Mensah-Stock felt her mother’s selling methods at the time weren’t considered legal, that’s when she told Wells she would help fund her business in the future.
Five years later, stemming from the day Mensah-Stock made that promise to her mother, she was able to make the first steps of Wells’ dreams a reality.
Mensah-Stock shared that the truck would be named “The Lady Bug” and would serve barbeque meals while saying how pleasant it would be to finally see the business up and running. “It is going to be pleasant. It’s going to be legal. It’s going to be fun.”