Why Ohio State Olympic gold medalist wrestler Kyle Snyder will train at Penn State

Cleveland 1 month ago

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Former Ohio State wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder will continue his training at the facilities of a Big Ten Conference rival.

Snyder announced Thursday on Twitter that he will continue his training at Penn State’s Nittany Lions Wrestling Club. Penn State is designated as the U.S. Olympic Regional Training Center.

Snyder, who won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, said he believed the move was necessary to maximize his training in preparation for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. A three-time individual NCAA Champion at 285 pounds who led the Buckeyes to the 2015 team championship, Snyder opened his post with his appreciation for Ohio State coach Tom Ryan and other coaches.

“I have a responsibility to my teammates, to my country, and to God, to tell myself the truth and act upon that truth,” Snyder said in the post. "The simple truth is I need to get better. In order for me to fulfill my obligations as a member of Team USA and as the defending Olympic champ, I must give full effort and take complete responsibility for this process.

“This decision isn’t to suggest that one program is better than the next, but this is taking advantage of additional thinking and incorporating that into my wrestling.”

Snyder’s 2-1 victory over Azerbaijan’s Khetag Gazyumov in Rio at age 20 made him the United States’ youngest Olympic wrestling champion in history. Since then, he also won the 2017 World Championships, the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 Pan-American championship. Snyder took silver and bronze, respectively at the last two World Championships.

Coaches at the Olympic Regional Training Center at Penn State include Cael Sanderson and Cody Sanderson, Casey Cunningham, Jake Varner, Mark McKnight and Eric Thompson.

Snyder went 179-0 while winning three Maryland state championships in high school. He opted to forego his senior season of high school eligibility to compete internationally at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

“Anybody who thinks it’s easy to leave your home and go somewhere else just to do it is ready this the wrong way,” Snyder said. “Anything worth pursuing of value is worth the pain endured in the process. I am speaking to all my fellow brother and sister wrestlers. We all have an obligation to get better as wrestlers and people, and I am no exception.”

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