With the end of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics in sight, the athletes of the US Olympic team have showed no signs of easing up on their quest for gold, racking up more wins and historic firsts.
This week, Tamyra Mensah-Stock became the first Black woman from the US to bring home gold in wrestling. Heading into the women's 68-kilogram freestyle final, Mensah-Stock was the heavy favorite as the top-seeded athlete facing the second-seeded Blessing Oborududu from Nigeria (which also happened to be the country's first ever medal in the sport).
Following her historic win, Mensah-Stock told the Associated Press, "It's so freaking awesome. You're making history, I'm making history. We're making history. So it meant a lot."
Mensah-Stock went on to talk about how she hopes to inspire other Black girls interested in wrestling, her family's Ghanian heritage and the loss of her father in a car accident while she was in high school. "He would have been the loudest one here," she said. "He would have been so proud."
HER GOLDEN MOMENT!
@GoSydGo takes the gold in world record fashion in the women's 400m hurdles final!… https://t.co/NalTcjnz6N
In the 400m hurdles, Team USA took home both the gold and silver medals with Sydney McLaughlin absolutely shattering the world record previously set by her teammate and second place finisher, Dalilah Muhammad. McLaughlin said she was inspired by the similarly record-shattering Mens 400m hurdles that took place the night before, with US athlete Rai Benjamin taking home the silver.
After having withdrawn from both the team and individual Women's gymnastics events to focus on her mental health, Simone Biles also made her return to the Olympic stage to take home bronze in the balance beam.
"I wasn't expecting to walk away with a medal," Biles said after the competition. "I was just going out there to do this for me and whatever happens, happens."
Biles placed third behind China's Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing, who took home gold and silver respectively. This marks her seventh Olympic medal, which has her tied with Shannon Miller for the most medals ever won by a US gymnast.