Kyle Snyder has to make room for another piece of hardware in his crowded trophy case.
The Ohio State wrestler, who last month in Cleveland finished his college career with a third NCAA championship, was awarded the AAU Sullivan Award on Tuesday night in New York. The Sullivan is given to the nation’s top amateur athlete.
“This is a great award,” Snyder said during his acceptance speech. “I’ve been blessed with a chance to compete and do what I love to do, which is wrestling.
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“I believe that God has given me some great gifts and amazing opportunities to glorify Him on the most prominent stages there are in sports. My only focus is to give as much effort as I possibly can and to improve each time I’m on the mat. I know that’s the only thing I can control as an athlete.”
Snyder was one of eight finalists last year. His mother and grandmother attended the Sullivan Award program on Tuesday.
“I texted him afterward,” Ohio State coach Tom Ryan said. “As humble as he is, I’m sure it’s got to feel really good to be recognized for what he puts into the sport.
“I’m just really proud of him. It made me feel really happy that he is being recognized for something he worked so hard for and lived in such a clean way for. I’m happy for him and his family and those who have touched him and those who he has touched.”
Snyder is the second Ohio State athlete to win the award in four years. Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott won the Sullivan in 2015.
“I think it speaks to the level of individuals that this place attracts,” Ryan said, “and also the culture of the department and the ability to help develop them into reaching their full potential.”
In 2016, Snyder became the youngest wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal. He also has two world championships.
Ryan said that Snyder was traveling to California on Wednesday for a short break before beginning to train to earn another spot on the American team for the world championships. He will compete in the finals in June in Lincoln, Nebraska. The world championships are in Budapest, Hungary, in September.
Snyder, an OSU Scholar-Athlete, is on track to graduate this summer with a degree in sport industry.