June 23, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder has been nominated for an ESPY in the category of Best Male U.S. Olympic Athlete. Fans can vote by CLICKING HERE. The winner will be announced during ESPN’s broadcast on July 12, which will begin at 8 p.m. ET and hosted by Peyton Manning.
Along with Snyder, the nominees are decathlete Ashton Eaton and swimmers Ryan Murphy and Michael Phelps. Noah Brown from Ohio State football also is a nominee for play of the year for his one-handed touchdown grab at Oklahoma. Fans can vote here as well.
Snyder became the youngest American wrestling Olympic champion last August when he won gold in at 97kg in Rio. The first active Ohio State student-athlete to bring home gold since Jerry Lucas in 1960, Snyder only the second Ohio State wrestler to earn an Olympic medal, and the first to do so in 92 years (Harry Steel won gold in the 1924 Games in Paris).
After winning his first two matches with relative ease, Snyder fell behind Elizbar Odikadze of Georgia in the semifinals, 4-0, before reeling off nine straight points to advance to the gold medal match with a 9-4 victory. Once he was there, Snyder defeated World No. 3 Khetag Goziumov of Azerbaijan, 2-1. Goziumov had previously won bronze medals at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.
Snyder’s Olympic gold medal capped a 12-month period that saw him win both World and Olympic gold as well as a NCAA title for the Scarlet and Gray. In September of 2015, his victory over returning World champion Abdusalam Gadisov of Russia made him the youngest World champion in U.S. wrestling history.
After the Olympics, Snyder returned to Ohio State and went 17-0 last winter on his way to the 285 lb. Big Ten and NCAA championships. During the season, he wrestled internationally as well – highlighted by his gold-medal performance at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia, which is considered the toughest open tournament in the world. On his way to top of the podium, Snyder won all four of his matches by either fall or technical fall. He also competed in Ukraine (Club Cup Championships) and Iran (Freestyle World Cup).
Ohio State wrestlers have now been nominated for an ESPY for the second time in the last three years. Logan Stieber was up for the Best Male College Athlete in 2015 after winning his fourth individual national championship while leading the Buckeyes to its first-ever team title.