Who is... Kyle Snyder
Name: Kyle Snyder
Country: United States
Weight class: Men's freestyle, 97kg (214 lbs)
- 2016 undefeated NCAA champion (11-0 record)
- Ranked #2 in the world at 97kg by United World Wrestling (previously #1)
- 2015 World Championships gold medalist
- Youngest American to win a world title (19 years old)
- 2015 Pan American Games champion
- 2015 U.S. Open champion
- 2015 NCAA runner-up
- Three-time Maryland high school state champion (179-0 record)
Olympic history: Snyder has not previously competed at an Olympic Games.
Olympic outlook: At U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Snyder qualified for Rio by defeating 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner 2-1 in a best-of-three series. As the defending world champion and one of the world's top-ranked wrestlers at 97kg, Snyder will be in the mix for a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games.
How he got started in wrestling: "I spent most of my time [as a kid] playing with my older brother and younger brother. We were all pretty aggressive kids and super competitive, and I wanted to beat my older brother in everything and I couldn't. We'd be downstairs wrestling around and trying to beat each other up, and that's kind of how I fell into wrestling."
Why he stuck with wrestling: "I started wrestling when I was 5 years old, and I really started to fall in love with it in 8th grade. It seems shallow, but I enjoyed this sport the most because it was the one I was the most successful in. Soon that way of thinking about wrestling changed, and now I am just hungry to improve as a wrestler."
On becoming world champion in 2015: "The feeling right after the match is pretty indescribable, because a lot of suffering goes into becoming the best wrestler in the world. I feel like a lot of time and a lot of effort from a lot of different people is what gets you to that angle. So, it felt amazing after I got my hand raised, and I was jumping around and screaming and running around with the flag in my back. But right now, I'd say it feels pretty normal. Just moving onto the next thing."
College: Snyder currently attends Ohio State University, where he is studying sports management. As a true freshman, he was part of Ohio State's first-ever NCAA championship team in 2015, but finished as the runner-up individually in the 197-pound weight class. Snyder removed his Olympic redshirt midway through his sophomore season in 2016 and moved up to the heavyweight (285 lbs) class, where he went 11-0 and won his first NCAA championship.
Training regimen: "I wake up at 7:30, then either wrestle or lift weights in the morning, with short conditioning after. I go back to work out at 2:30 and wrestle every afternoon. I take the weekends off and listen to my body: If I need another workout, I will work out, but if I need to recover, then I will recover. My daily goals are to just improve as a wrestler and person every day."
Nutrition: "Usually I'll make my own breakfast and lunch at my apartment. Typically a protein shake in the morning with granola. Then usually a sandwich in the afternoon. For dinner, I almost always get Chipotle."
Thoughts on training for the Olympics: "It is as hard as you think it is, but the reward is worth every second of suffering."
Greatest influence: 2012 Olympic wrestler Tervel Dlagnev: "He is my closest training partner and friend, and we have grown together in the sport for a long time now."
Favorite TV shows: Seinfeld, SportsCenter, cooking shows
Hidden talent: "I can walk on my hands for a very long time."