Olympic Gold Medalist Celebrated in Plainview

PLAINVIEW – Admittedly being someone who cries easily, Olympic gold medalist Tamyra Mensah-Stock wasn’t ready for what she walked into when she stopped by Plainview’s City Hall on Monday morning.

“I just stopped in to say, Hi,” she said with tears rolling down her cheeks.

Plainview Mayor Charles Starnes, who taught Stock in her college business courses at Wayland Baptist University, had invited the Olympian to stop in for a visit when she was passing through town. What she found was a roomful of community and university fans who were there to celebrate her incredible accomplishment.

A 2017 graduate of Wayland, Tamyra and her husband Jacob stood at the front of the city council chambers as Starnes officially declared Feb. 7, 2022 Tamyra Mensah-Stock day in Plainview. He then presented Stock with a lapel pin replica of the City of Plainview logo that depicts a green field and blue sky with the sun peeking over the horizon.

“That sun is rising on a new day of opportunity in Plainview,” he said. “And we know that you and Jacob both seized on that opportunity.”

Dr. Claude Lusk, senior vice president for operations and student life at Wayland, then presented Stock with a shadow box that included a wrestling singlet and photos of Stock with her coaches, family and friends on the Wayland campus. Lusk heralded Stock for her accomplishments and her character as she was one of the first wrestlers in the Wayland wrestling program.

“As an absolutely new program, you don’t have a returner who is committed to the institution,” Lusk said. “Until you have someone who gets chill bumps putting on the colors of blue and gold, it’s tough to get where you want to go. We didn’t have that, but I’m here to tell you, when Tamyra started putting the colors on, you could tell it meant something to her.”

Lusk said it was obvious that she carried that passion with her and that the nation saw that it mattered when she put on the colors of the United States of America. A fierce competitor on the mat, he said watching Stock wrestle was like watching someone flip a switch.

“Before she steps into the ring, she’s as kind and caring and loving and bubbly,” he said. “In her mind she says, ‘I’m about to athletically destroy you, and then I’m going to help you up and I’m going to pat you on the back and we’re going to smile and whoever is next in the ring, I’m going to destroy them.’”

Through it all, however, Stock always presented herself as an athlete of character and integrity.

“She respects herself. She respects her teammates. She respects her coaches, and what’s really cool about watching Tamyra is that she has an absolute respect for her opponent,” Lusk said.

Stock took a moment to thank the crowd for their support and in her humble, shy way, she closed the proceedings by deflecting any personal praise.

“I don’t think I’m a hero,” she said. “I’ve honestly just done what I’ve known my entire life. Love, love, love. That’s my faith. That’s who I’ve been, and I want to continue doing that and spreading more love and joy because I feel like that’s honestly what makes the world go round. That’s how I got to where I am today.”