Kyle Snyder: A Different Kind of Greatness

Kyle Snyder is on the quest for greatness. Going through his career accomplishments one would think he’s already achieved that. He’s won gold in the 2016 Olympics, 2 World Championships, and the Pan American Games. He’s a three time national champion at Ohio State. He is the youngest person to ever win a collegiate national championships, a World Championship and an Olympic gold medal. Would you think that’s enough? Kyle Snyder is on a different kind of quest for greatness. Not for himself, but for his team, his family and most importantly, his faith. We talked about his faith today, as well as wrestling and more.

Snyder started wrestling very young. He remembers his aggressiveness and competitiveness is what drove his parents to put him in wrestling.

“I started wrestling when I was 5 years old. I was a real aggressive kid. Real competitive. I guess those two things mixed together. One of my dad’s friends and my grandpa both thought that I would be good at wrestling. My grandpa only person that wrestled in my family. They put me in it. I didn’t always love it. But, it was fun when I first started and I’ve always been pretty successful in the sport, even when I was a young kid. So I stuck with it.”

While Kyle Snyder is only 24 years old, he’s achieved so much as we’ve mentioned already. Snyder wants to remind everyone that you have to love what you do to be great. He offered this advice for anyone chasing “greatness” as a means for self glory.

“The most important thing is that you love what you’re doing and that you’re doing it for the Lord. I don’t do any of this to bring glory to myself. Wrestling is just a means to grow and become more like Christ and that’s what I’m focused on.”

Kyle Snyder continues to speak about achieving success in wrestling as well. The road to being a champion on his level isn’t all fun and is by no means easy. It’s a mental battle as much as it is physical.

“To achieve success in the sport, obviously we know it’s a very difficult and challenging sport both mentally and physically. And if you don’t love what you’re doing then I would say it’s very challenging to have the creativity and the consistency and the discipline needed not only in just showing up to practice on time and finding good training partners. It’s about the thousands of little decisions that you make during each workout that only the person who is hungry and the person that wants it that is going to decide to choose to do the right thing. Just like in anything in life, you got to love what you do if you want to be great at it.”

Kyle Snyder To Nittany Lion Wrestling Club

Back in October, Kyle Snyder decided to move camps from Ohio State to the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club, the club for Penn State. With Ohio State and Penn State being big rivals, the move shocked a lot of people. Once again, this is a decision made by Snyder’s faith.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time so far at the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. I’ve learned a lot and it’s been a change. Change is good. I left my senior year in high school to get a change in environment to learn more from different training people. I left there, the Olympic Training Center, to go to Ohio State and work with the best people. I’m very thankful for all the things that Ohio State has done for me and I know that I would never have achieved what I have without the support from the staff and the training people there that they’ve poured into me. But, I just thought that it was a good move for my wrestling. The number one thing is I thought God wanted me to do it. I make choices on not what I want to do but based on what He wants me to do. I felt like He was leading me to make this decision and that’s why I ended up there.”

The change has worked wonders for Snyder. He was a scary opponent before but now his volume, attack diversity, and volume has improved leaps and bounds. He is overall more loose when he wrestles. Snyder needs that improvement if he’s going to take on wrestling’s best, namely Russia.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The Olympic world was hit with a haymaker late last December when WADA announced sanctions on Russia and banned the country from competition for four years. With the Olympics just around the corner and Russians notorious for their dominance in wrestling, any Russian wrestler wanting to compete in the Olympics will have to prove their innocence to WADA and will have to compete under a neutral flag. Doping, no doping, it doesn’t matter for Kyle Snyder. It’s about the thrill of the competition. If the best aren’t there, he can’t truly prove he’s the best in the world.

“It’s hard to have thoughts on it yet because I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like. I don’t know who is going to be competing for a neutral country and I don’t know how they’re going select that and I don’t know how it’s going to work with qualifying and all these different things. But, the only thing I do know is that I’m not afraid of anybody and I want the best guys to be there. Russia usually has some of the better wrestlers and I’m a competitor. I don’t want a second team to show up, I want to wrestle the best guys.”

Snyder likes the USA against Russia angle. Rocky Balboa versus Ivan Drago. “It’s like the old USA vs. Russia. Rocky Balboa, man,” says Snyder.

I asked if he’s ran up the steps like Rocky since moving to Pennsylvania. “Yeah, I did it. I’m ready”

In 2016, Snyder has the MMA world in a frenzy with this tweet.

Don’t count on it, however. After giving it some thought, the Olympian thinks he’s decided to stay in the wrestling world.

“I don’t think it’s even down the road. I don’t think that I’m going to fight. I think I’m going to wrestle as long as I can as long as He wants me to. We’ll see what happens after that. I don’t foresee it being fighting. I like UFC, it’s fun. I’ve been to a couple fights and every time I go, I get jacked up and I’m like, ‘Man, this would be so sweet.’ But that’s just because I like competition and I’m a physical person.”

Joe Burreaux and the Ohio State Connection

In the college football world, Joe Burrow is taking the world by storm. He is an Ohio State product that transferred to LSU. Burrow has won the Heisman trophy, college football’s most prestigious award, and is playing for a national championship. Ohio State was eliminated from the playoffs against Clemson, who is playing LSU in the national championship game. Snyder had very nice things to say about the former Buckeye.

“Joe Burrow is a beast. He came from Ohio State. That’s a tough decision that the Buckeyes had to make. Give a team they could face in the finals their quarterback. I think he’s a great player.”

Kyle Snyder is moving on to the Olympics in his career once more to represent the United States of America. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to follow his Olympic journey.

Check out some of Snyder’s best wrestling to date as he beats Russia’s Abdulrashid Sadulaev a few years ago.

Kyle Snyder: A Different Kind of Greatness

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Blaine Henry

Just your friendly neighborhood fight fan!


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