Kyle Snyder with his bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
For Kyle Snyder, it's "Goodbye, Columbus" and "Hello, Happy Valley" as the 2016 Olympic gold medal-winning freestyle wrestler -- and three-time NCAA heavyweight champ for Ohio State -- will be leaving the Ohio Regional Training Center to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by moving to the Nittany Lions Wrestling Club this month, the wrestler announced Thursday.
Here's a Snyder's message posted on Twitter today:
Thank you. pic.twitter.com/MgujR7Awti�" Kyle Snyder (@Snyder_man45) October 10, 2019
"I have a responsibility to my teammates, to my country, and to God, to tell myself the truth and to act upon that truth. The simple truth is I need to get better. In order for me to fulfill my obligations as a member of Team USA and as the defending Olympic champ, I must give full effort and take complete responsibility for this process."
"This decision isn't to suggest that one program is better than the next, but this is taking advantage of additional thinking and incorporate that into my wrestling."
Here's how the Maryland native concluded his announcement: "I recognize that in order for me to climb to the pinnacle I must improve. I have chosen to take advantage of the learning available at the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club."
Snyder's new training partners will a number of successful wrestlers with serious college and freestyle mat accomplishments such as Jake Varner (2012 Olympic men's freestyle gold medalist), Anthony Cassar (2019 NCAA heavyweight champ for Penn State), Bo Nickal (a 2019 World championships teammate at 96 kilograms), David Taylor (2018 World champion at 87 kilograms/191 pounds), and Zain Retherford (65 kilograms/143 pounds), among others, according to PennLive.com, not to mention head coach Cael Sanderson, an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler himself.
"Penn State has world-class coaches and world-class competitors in the room," Snyder said in an interview with USA Wrestling. "I just think that change is really important. I'll get a lot of feels there and different perspective of my wrestling," he said. "Having wrestled against Varner and knowing the type of feel he has, I think his style and his pace is something I'm really excited to put myself up against…it'll be really good to work with him."
Snyder graduated from Ohio State in 2018, but had remained in Columbus since then to train at the Ohio RTC.
At age 19, Snyder became the youngest U.S. men's freestyle wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro at 96 kilograms. Just last month, Snyder earned a bronze medal at 97 kilograms/213 pounds at the 2019 World Championships.
Just six months from now, the Olympic wrestling trials for the 2020 Tokyo Games will be held at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center on April 4-5, with Snyder having a bid for the best-of-three finals as a returning World medalist. The Summer Olympics will take place July 24-August 9.