A few Olympians call EHE their college. At the 2016 Games, wrestler Kyle Snyder, a junior in sport management, set the bar at a new high. In March, he became the NCAA wrestling national champion — again — despite a rib injury. Inspire talked to him about winning Olympic gold and continuing his amazing streak.
Q: People talk about motivation. You won an Olympic medal last summer at age 20. How do you stay on top of your game now?
A: I am very grateful that I have been able to accomplish the things I have in the sport. With that being said, I try to stay motivated by the things I can control, such as the technique I can improve, my input in matches and my mental approach to the sport. This makes it easy for me to stay motivated no matter what I accomplish.
Q: Is there one moment in the 2016 Games that stands out for you?
A: My favorite moment of the Olympic Games — other than the wrestling — was the opening ceremonies. It was an amazing experience and breathtaking to walk in front of the hundreds of thousands of fans.
Q: The man you wrestled for the gold — Azerbaijan’s Khetag Gazyumov — had just beaten you a few weeks before. What do you think was the key to winning that gold medal match?
A: I usually make good adjustments after wrestling someone for the first time. I had a good feel for his offense and was able to shut down his shot attempts and score when I needed to.
Q: You haven’t lost a college match since winning gold. Your coach, Tom Ryan, said about you: “This dude is unreal.” Does your situation ever feel unreal to you?
A: No, the situation I am in seems very real to me. I haven’t had much time to look back on the things I have accomplished, but I have always believed in myself and my wrestling ability.
Q: You let lots of people try on your medal. But we hear there’s one thing you won’t let them do with it.
A: Anybody can try on my medal, but no one is allowed to bite it. Biting it is going a little too far.
Q: You live with your younger brother, Kevin, a redshirt freshman on the Ohio State team. Do you two ever wrestle in your apartment?
A: Yes, we do live together. We typically keep the wrestling to the (Steelwood Athletic Training Facility) wrestling room because we only live about 50 yards away. If we want to wrestle, we take it over to the wrestling room.