Gable Steveson, Tamyra Mensah-Stock Manifest Black Wrestling Success


With only 20 seconds left, the situation looked bleak for Gable Steveson in the 125kg freestyle wrestling final.

The 2021 NCAA champion trailed Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili 8-5, so he needed points quick, fast and in a hurry.

The question was, could Stevenson muster up a final push to win gold? Did he have that inner drive to snatch the victory away and follow in the footsteps of his Team USA wrestling teammate, Tamyra Mensah-Stock?

You see, on Tuesday, Tamyra made history.

She defeated Nigeria’s Blessing Oborududu for the gold medal in Women’s Freestyle 68kg. That made her the first U.S. Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

She also became the second U.S. woman to win Olympic gold; Helen Maroulis was the first to do it at the 2016 Rio Games.

Both Steveson and Mensah-Stock are the latest examples of African-American success in wrestling.

It’s a rich and storied history that not many are aware of. It’s one we explored in our story about the deep roots of Black excellence in NCAA wrestling.

At this year’s NCAA wrestling tournament in March, five Black champions were crowned out of the ten weight divisions.

Gable Steveson was one of those champions, winning the 285 lbs. division.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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