On Tuesday, Tamyra finished her first Olympics in a dominating style, winning a gold medal in the women’s 68-kilogram freestyle final. She finished the second and the first black woman to achieve gold in an Olympic for the United States. The top-ranked Tamyra defeated second-ranked Blessing Oborududu 4-1 after tying points with two takedowns in the initial trial. Neither of the two scored a point in the second time, although Blessing made some desperate attempts.
Blessing won silver and became the first Nigerian athlete to achieve an Olympic silver medal in wrestling. After the game, Tamyra, a 28-year-old, commented about their victory with Blessing. “I’m like, oh my gosh, look at us representing,” she said. “It’s so freaking awesome. You are making history. We’re making history. So it meant a lot.” She added.
Tamyra also mentioned her willingness to motivate black girls to pursue wrestling and her family’s lineage in Ghana, where her father originated from. Her father passed on while she was in high school. According to Team USA, he was crushed in a car accident heading home from a wrestling meet. “He would be the loudest here,” she said. “He would have been so proud.”
Emotions hit Tamyra hard after the victory. She showed a heart-shaped gesture with her hands immediately after the win, smiling and bending down to the congregation in the Makuhari Messe Hall. She hugged her coaches and lifted a large U.S. flag above her head. The black wrestling champion broke in tears severally, both on the mat and the podium. “I’m filled with joy, and I keep trying not to shed tears, but it keeps happening,” as reported by Team USA. “I just want to go into a dark room and cry, but I’m crying for joy.”
To get to the finals, Tamyra, from Katy, Texas, overcame a tough draw. She did her match against Sara Dosho from Japan- 2017 world champion and 2016 Olympic gold medalist. She then wrestled with Feng Zhou of China, who defeated Tamyra surprisingly in early 2020. The two opponents did not manage to score a single point against Tamyra, who beat them each by a score of 10-0. Tamyra faced another former world champion in her semifinals.
Tamyra had finished first in the U.S. Olympic team trials before the Rio Olympics but could not take part in the competition as the U.S had not secured a position in her weight class. She went to Brazil for the games but only as a coaching partner. This marks the second medal for the U. S. women in Tokyo, happening a day after five-time world champion Adeline Gray won a silver medal in the 76-kilogram match. Team USA’s first gold medal winner in women’s wrestling in 2016, Helen Maroulis, is set to wrestle late Wednesday in Japan (local time).