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Laura Ingraham (left) presents Tamyra Mensah-Stock with the Most Valuable Patriot Award.

Colorado Springs Olympian ​​Tamyra Mensah-Stock, the first Black American woman to win a gold medal in wrestling, was awarded the Fox Nation Patriot Awards’ Most Valuable Patriot Award on Nov. 18. Fox Nation is a streaming service of Fox News.

Mensah-Stock trains at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and won her gold medal during her Olympic debut at the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo. Mensah-Stock began wrestling as a sophomore at Morton Ranch High School in Katy, Texas. She continued wrestling at the college level for Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. Mensah-Stock won the 68 kg class at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, but none of the athletes from the United States secured a spot to compete in the 68 kg weight category at the 2016 Rio Olympics.  

The third annual Patriot Awards was described by Fox News as an event to “showcase and award America’s finest patriots, including military veterans, first responders and other inspirational everyday heroes.” Presenters included Fox News personalities Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Dan Bongino, Steve Doocy, Jeanine Pirro, Lara Logan and others.

Mensah-Stock’s award was presented by Ingraham, a controversial Fox commentator who has been accused of echoing white nationalist rhetoric. Before introducing Mensah-Stock, Ingraham took a moment to mock COVID precautions and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. A video montage played at the event emphasized Mensah-Stock’s love for the United States. When Ingraham, who has been criticized for her staunch anti-immigration views, asked if her love of country was unusual, Mensah-Stock responded, “It’s not unusual to me. You saw it in the video. My father’s an immigrant; I was taught to love my country so I’m here representing the USA. Thank you guys for all your support, I wouldn’t be here without my faith, my family and my friends.”

The event also honored fallen service men and women, first responders and “every day patriots.” Eight of the 13 Gold Star families from this summer’s bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan attended the show and were honored with a moment of silence. A portion of the proceeds from the Patriot Awards went to the Building Homes for Heroes Foundation, an organization that builds modified, mortgage-free homes for injured military veterans.

News Reporter

Heidi Beedle is a former soldier, educator, activist, and animal welfare worker. She received a Bachelor’s in English from UCCS. She has worked as a freelance writer covering LGBTQ issues, nuclear disasters, cattle mutilations, and social movements.