Tamyra Mensah-Stock, who made history at the Tokyo Olympics, is hanging up her amateur wrestling shoes — only to pick up a pair of professional wrestling boots and join WWE.
WWE officials told ESPN on Tuesday that the promotion had signed wrestling gold medalist Mensah-Stock to a contract. Mensah-Stock was the Olympic champion at 68 kilograms at the Tokyo Games in 2021, becoming the first Black woman to win gold in freestyle wrestling.
Mensah-Stock, 30, had been talking publicly about going to WWE after winning gold in 2021 but remained in amateur wrestling, winning the 2022 world championship in Belgrade, Serbia, for her second world title.
In 2021, Mensah-Stock came in third place in the world championships and continued on due to that finish.
“I didn’t want to end my career on that note,” Mensah-Stock said. “So I did another world championships, I wiped the floor with everybody, and I was like, ‘Man, this is not fun anymore. I need a change.’ Something in the back of my head that’s just been itching at me, a dream of mine for I don’t know how long. I just wanted to be in the WWE.”
The Texas resident will start in WWE’s developmental program. Mensah-Stock reported Monday to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, she told ESPN. Her goal is to make WWE’s main roster within one year.
“I love watching the athletes just in the ring, just going what they do best,” Mensah-Stock said. “I just see their personalities just shine through the television, and I see their strength. Just everything about them resembles me, and I’ve just wanted to be a part of that.”
Mensah-Stock said she did think briefly about competing in mixed martial arts but wasn’t sure what weight class she would have been natural in and didn’t necessarily think it would be a good fit.
“I don’t like the idea of potentially getting submitted and an arm broken or aggressiveness like that,” she said. “I really just don’t want to make weight anymore, let’s just be honest.”
Another Tokyo gold medalist, Gable Steveson, has been signed with WWE since 2021 and has been in the developmental program. He recently returned to amateur wrestling and is expected to try to make the Olympic team again for the 2024 Paris Games.
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