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March 17, 2018

Kyle Snyder

Cleveland, Ohio


THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the 2018 NCAA Division I national champion, Kyle Snyder, heavyweight national champion from Ohio State.

Q. Can you walk us through the takedown? And also how much would you have liked to have had that match be for the team title as well?
KYLE SNYDER: I mean Coon is real big, real strong. He's a very good wrestler. He's had a great career. And he's a really good guy. So he's going to have a really bright future in a lot of different fields, whatever he chooses.

And I mean the match, it was a lot of me holding him off, trying to kind of pick and choose my shots and time 'em strategically throughout the match. And I was surprised that he shot at that point. I wasn't expecting that. I was expecting me to go underneath of him, and I was about to try to set a couple of things up because I knew there was only 30 seconds left.

But he took the shot when I had my underhook, and kind of extended himself. So I was able to throw him by and there wasn't much time after that.

And the team title, yeah, of course, you know, it was an amazing race. It would have been awesome to end my career at Ohio State with a team title. I still believe we have an amazing team.

Q. How happy are you that you don't have to wrestle heavyweight ever again?
KYLE SNYDER: I'm really happy. It's great. I'm excited to just continue my international career at 213. That's where I feel really comfortable competing at. And not much strategy involved at that weight class, just going out there and wrestling, trying to score as many points as I can. So I'm glad heavyweight's done. Yeah.

Q. You're also done with folkstyle. How does that feel?
KYLE SNYDER: It feels great. I like freestyle a lot more. It suits the way that I wrestle. Pushouts is great for me because I put a lot of pressure on people. And wrestling from my feet is my favorite place to wrestle, my favorite position to be in. And I'm happy about all that.

Q. You're a three-time heavyweight champ wrestling a good 60 pounds under the weight limit. Knowing the work that you put in through the years, when you hear something like that, that type of accomplishment, what does that mean to you?
KYLE SNYDER: It just means that I've been blessed. I've got a lot of natural gifts that I'm very thankful for. And then, like you said, it's also been a lot of hard work, a lot of consistency, a lot of support from my family taking me to the best clubs when I was young, putting me always in a position to where I can grow and improve as a wrestler because that's what I said I wanted to do, and they were committed to helping me do that.

At Ohio State and the Team USA national team coaches, they've helped me so much, so couldn't have done anything without all of their support. There's a lot of people that go into accomplishing stuff like this.

Q. The team scored 134.5, most ever by an NCAA runner-up. Is this bittersweet in any way for you?
KYLE SNYDER: Yeah, a little bittersweet. The reason why it stings the most is because the way Myles' match ended because I know how that feels. You're, at first, you're just confused and you really, you wish -- if you just lose, if someone just beats you, you can kind of handle that a little bit better. At least I have in my history in the sport.

But when the match stops like that and you feel like you had some momentum going, that really stinks. And I love Myles. So I know he's probably sad, but he's a really tough kid and a really good kid.

That's the part -- if they would have just beaten us without that happening, and they wrestled the whole match through, then it is what it is. But the way that match ended really stinks.

Q. You're saying goodbye to college but at your age you're just starting your career. You said you want to do this a long time. How do you think you'll look back at these years at Ohio State? And one other follow-up, have you not been able to enjoy the benefits of a normal senior-level international wrestler, a gold medalist, because of college?
KYLE SNYDER: I'll look back at my career at Ohio State and just be thankful for not what I was able to achieve but all the moments and camaraderie and experience I've had with my teammates and coaches and my improvement as a wrestler and as a man and my faith especially, all that's grown so much. So that's what I look back on.

And we have a banquet every year at Ohio State and the seniors all get up there and speak, and I've wrote down some of my speech. And every time I look back on my time at Ohio State it has nothing to do with what I've accomplished. It's more so just the individual moments with my teammates and being in the practice room and having fun and training together and those moments where you really grow together.

And then as a student at Ohio State, yeah, I haven't been able to receive all the benefits that I could have received if I was not under NCAA rules. Hopefully I'll be signing with an apparel company soon and whoever else. We'll see what happens. But all the money from the operation goal, what I've been able to receive, so that's been pretty cool.

Q. How tough of a grind was it this year -- back overseas, back here, back there, back here, back there -- was it one of the toughest years you've ever experienced in terms of conditioning and staying in shape and everything else?
KYLE SNYDER: It's difficult for me to answer those type of questions, because after the Penn State match and then Coon match where I felt like I was getting tired of matches, my dad and coaches were like maybe you're like overtrained. Maybe you just need to rest a little bit.

And every time -- I would think about it really hard and I would ask myself, do I need to rest? And my mind would always tell me that I don't need to rest, that I can continue to train. So when people ask me whether the travel and coming back and competing right away, and all that is difficult, my first reaction in my mind always says it's not that difficult. It's just what I do, because I enjoy wrestling. And I like wrestling tough competitors. And it's what I have to do if I want to wrestle internationally while I'm competing in college.

So I think it really has to do with your mindset and the type of shape you're in. You can adjust a lot quicker if you're in good physical shape.

Q. You kind of had the spotlight a lot on you this weekend, more so than usual. And obviously it's in your home state, your senior season. What does that all look like to you the past three days?
KYLE SNYDER: It's been pretty cool. It's been pretty cool. Have a lot of people taking photos and people tweeting at me and video cameras on me a lot, which is awesome. I try to speak and live a life that shines brightly and that inspires people to be the best that they can be.

So I know I have some things that I can improve on, but I do feel like I'm a leader and I can help people. And if people watch me warm up or people can see me do whatever I do before matches and the way I talk after matches and those type of things, it might be able to help someone. So that's good.


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