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Kyle Snyder achieves his Olympic dreams in Rio

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OSU then-sophomore Kyle Snyder enters the arena during the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 19 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Credit: Courtesy of OSU

OSU then-sophomore Kyle Snyder enters the arena during the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships on March 19 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Credit: Courtesy of OSU

Ohio State and team USA wrestler Kyle Snyder did something on Sunday that no wrestler has done with the Buckeyes for over 90 years — win an Olympic medal.

Less than a year removed from his world championship victory that made him the youngest ever world champion at 19, Snyder defeated Khetang Goziumov from Azerbaijan in order to earn the gold. He won via 2-1 decision.

In order to reach the finals, Snyder was victorious over three other premier wrestlers from around the world. In the round of 16, Snyder defeated Javier Cortina of Cuba before topping Albert Saritov of Romania in the quarterfinals.

Things started off slow for the reigning world champion in the semifinals, as Snyder found himself trailing 4-0 after the end of the first period. After the break, the OSU junior came out strong and scored nine unanswered points to give him a 9-4 win.

In the final, Snyder was able to stretch out to a 2-0 lead and played outstanding defense to secure the victory. Goziumov did not earn an offensive point in the bout, and was awarded his only point from an expiring shot clock.

With classification points, Snyder won his matches 3-1, 3-0, 3-1 and 3-1. Classification points are used in the Olympics to rank wrestlers at the end of the tournament.

The last OSU wrestler to earn a medal at the Olympics was Harry Steel, who earned a gold at the 1924 games in Paris.

OSU coach Tom Ryan was in attendance for the match, and coach Lou Rosselli stood in the corner of Snyder throughout his time in Rio. Snyder is the first Olympian and medal winner for Ryan.

With the win, Snyder now owns a NCAA national championship, a world championship and an Olympic gold medal. After becoming the youngest world champion in US wrestling history last year, Snyder is also the youngest American gold medal winner in wrestling ever at just 20 years old.

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