Kyle Snyder’s journey to Tokyo after leaving Ohio State to train at Penn State

Japan 2020

TOKYO (WCMH) — Former Ohio State wrestler Kyle Snyder will attempt to win his second gold medal starting Friday, August 6.

Snyder became the youngest wrestler to win gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but he made a significant change in 2019 when he decided to stop training at Ohio State.

Snyder moved to State College where he started training with Penn State — Ohio State’s wrestling rival. The Nittany Lions have won nine of the last 10 NCAA DI national championships, including three over the Buckeyes.

“You could make the argument that in the 100-year history of college wrestling, he had the most successful career in the history of the sport,” Ohio State wrestling coach Tom Ryan said.

Snyder has won three national championships, two world titles and a gold medal.

But his career changed in 2019 when Snyder settled for bronze at the World Wrestling Championships, which prompted his move to Penn State.

“Sure you could be bitter. He did leave,” Ryan said.

He left Ryan, along with former teammates like Kollin Moore.

“We were really good friends here at Ohio State,” Moore said.

Moore still consider Snyder a friend but in April he was the enemy when the two Buckeyes faced off for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, which Snyder won.

“He lives a very disciplined life so I think that’s a very big separation between people who make it and people who don’t,” Moore said.

But after coming up short at the World Wrestling Championships in 2018 and 2019, Snyder made the decision to move to State College.

“I needed to go to the place that was the absolute best in regards to training partners, coaches and we felt like that was the Nittany Lions wrestling club and I believe it was the right decision,” Snyder said in July.

Although he left Ohio State, his former teammates and coach feel fortunate they were able to be there for him during his time in Columbus.

“Listen I deeply love [Kyle],” Ryan said. “We had him for six years. He helped Ohio State win a national championship. He graduated from Ohio State. He’s a Buckeye. He’ll be a Buckeye for life and now he’s a pro. You make a choice to focus on the good and the good was man we were blessed to have him.”

Snyder’s first match will be after midnight around 12:30 a.m. EST. He will face Canada’s Jordan Steen in the last match of the opening round. Snyder could compete in four matches tomorrow and if he wins all four, he’ll wrestle for a gold medal Saturday on NBC4.

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