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March 18, 2017

Kyle Snyder

St. Louis, Missouri

THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by heavyweight national champion Kyle Snyder of Ohio State.

KYLE SNYDER: Just good job, Connor. Great tournament. He's a good friend. So I hope that he continues to have a lot of success in the future, whatever he does. And just happy I could wrestle well, represent Ohio State well. And excited about the future of improvement, just becoming a better wrestler, but that was a pretty awesome environment. Very grateful that I could compete in front of all those people.

Q. The moment of truth there and probably yourself was the head outside shot in the first and you tried to cut across, you tried to lift him. He had you stuck there for about 5 seconds. Then finally you just horsed through it, put him down on the mat or two, that first take-down. Would you say after all that you knew you could do it, and the ribs weren't going to be an issue?
KYLE SNYDER: Yeah, for the most part. Ribs weren't that big of an issue. Doctors and trainers did a really good job helping me out and getting me prepared to wrestle pain-free. So thank you to them.

Yeah, that was a cool take-down. I don't think I ever lifted Connor up like that in practice or any matches. So that's good. Means I'm getting stronger.

Q. I'm assuming you did have another pain killer injection to --

Q. Did it affect you at all? Was there anything you couldn't do or felt that you never felt before?
KYLE SNYDER: Yeah, a little bit. I mean just in certain positions it hurt a little bit. But it wasn't too big of a deal. With the shots plus the adrenalin, I was feeling pretty good. Just like pressure on it, and being extended hurt a little bit. But it was -- didn't have that big of an effect on the match.

Q. You've been at the pinnacle, you already did it between the World's and the Olympics and this. Is there any way to compare this at all to the Olympics?
KYLE SNYDER: It's hard to compare. I think it's hard for me to even describe the feeling of what it was like to win the Olympics or the World's or the NCAAs. I think it's just hard to put into words, a lot of training on my part, but a lot of effort and guidance from family, friends, coaches, teammates that all helped me accomplish these things.

So very hard for me to describe what it means to win an event like this or the Olympics, just joy and thankful for the opportunities to compete and I love wrestling. So it's fun.

Q. You say you don't like to sit out and take a long break, but you probably have to take a little bit after this tournament before you get back on the mat. How will you do that when you have a desire to keep yourself in the room knowing that, you know, the freestyle season is coming up pretty quick?
KYLE SNYDER: Yeah, I want to wrestle for a really long time. I know it's important for me to take breaks. If my rib wasn't hurt, then other than that like my body feels really good. There's no pain anywhere else and I would say, like, I'm very motivated mentally to keep training, motivated physically. Not really dinged up anywhere else other than my ribs.

But I'll just -- I think I have a pretty low pain tolerance. I don't really like training that much when I'm hurt. So I'll let it heal up and then train and compete after that.

Q. Coach Ryan said you guys kicked the hornet's nest at the Big Ten Tournament. Penn State came alive, put all the guys in the finals. You've been on the national championship team. You've made the finals as a freshman. Is there any doubt in your mind you're going to come back next year; you told me that at the Ohio State Tournament. Is there any doubt in your mind moving forward that you guys cannot win the national title in your senior year?
KYLE SNYDER: Senior year, the nationals are going to be in Cleveland. So no better place to bring one to Ohio State. Our lineup is going to be really good next year. Penn State's lineup is going to be really good next year as well. I kind of see us and them battling again and I guess the better wrestling team will win with the better wrestlers on that day.

But no, I believe -- we're not losing anybody. We're bringing a couple guys in. We have Ke-Shawn coming back. We have Luke and Nate coming back. Luke was originally a 33-pounder. We have Luke and Nate coming back, myself, Bo, Micah, a couple of new guys coming in. So we're going to be a strong team. Myles obviously, Kollin. We're going to be a really strong team.

Q. I represent a youth wrestling organization, and I'd like, if you don't mind, to just have you comment, I think you can probably play a lot of sports, including probably hockey and football. Why wrestling and why should youth wrestlers choose this sport?
KYLE SNYDER: Well, I think for me the thing I love most about wrestling is there's always room for improvement, and that's very motivating for me. Instead of just chasing accolades and winning gold medals and things like that, it's very motivating to me that just my wrestling ability, my wrestling technique, my strength, my speed, all of that I can get better at.

And I love that part of wrestling and I love the creativity behind it. And overall I just think the people in the sport are really great people and you will get to make really solid connections. I don't know about the other sports because I haven't played them long enough to tell you, but I know for a fact in wrestling you can create relationships with people that can really help you in the future of your life and it's a sport that brings people really close together because of the -- suffering brings people together.

Q. This is probably a question I should ask next year assuming you're coming back, like you said. Is there downside at all for you, your training methods, by sharing both freestyle and folkstyle, and when someday they want to compare you to other heavyweights in college wrestling?
KYLE SNYDER: I'm not sure there's any downside. I wrestle a similar style whether it be freestyle or folkstyle. I haven't found any downsides. I mean I guess people can say it could run you down, and I did get a little hurt. But I don't think that was because of overtraining or going overseas, things like that.

I rested up pretty well and I made sure I felt good before I started training again. So I think getting more matches helps me. And I discussed it with the coaches and my parents, and definitely going to be back here next year competing for Ohio State.

Q. How is it to be compared to other great heavyweights in college wrestling. You don't wrestle that many college matches?
KYLE SNYDER: I'm not too concerned with who you compare me to or anything like that. I think you get caught up in that, then, I don't know, I think it's a bad road to go by. The way that I value people is by their effort, by their positivity, by the things they can control, not the amount of wins and losses they have, because we all know people who have won a lot who aren't people that you would want to be around, have your kids around, be friends with. And there's a lot of people who haven't won that much that you're real good friends with and are really good people. So I try to look at people, value them in a way that I want them to value me back and the way that I try to act, hold myself to.


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