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Wrestling: Kyle Snyder named Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year

OSU junior Kyle Snyder shows off his gold medal at the Welcome Back event for OSU Olympians. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports Director

One of the most decorated athletes in Ohio State history, senior heavyweight wrestler Kyle Snyder, is adding another accolade to his list Wednesday as he was named Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year.

This is the second time in three years that an Ohio State wrestler has been given the honor, after Logan Stieber won the award in 2015.

“I’m honored to win this incredible award, especially because of what Jesse Owens means to the Big Ten and specifically Ohio State,” Snyder said in a press release. “To be in the company of the many exceptional student-athletes who have earned this award in the past is humbling.”

Snyder won a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, making him the youngest Olympic and world champion in United States history at 20 years old.

During the past year, Snyder also won both Big Ten and NCAA titles in 2017, marking the second straight year he finished on top of those respective tournaments. Snyder was a perfect 17-0 over the course of the 2016-17 season. He helped lead Ohio State to a second-place finish at the NCAA championships and to the second Big Ten title in the past three years.

Snyder also spent much of the past season traveling, competing in the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia at the end of January — where he won a gold medal — and then traveled with the U.S. team to Iran in February, where it came home with the silver medal.

From Aug. 21-26, Snyder will travel with the U.S. Senior World Team to Paris to participate in the Paris 2017 World Wrestling Championships. During his last trip to the tournament in 2015, he came away with a gold medal, making him the youngest American to win the highest honor at only 19 years old.

“I could not have achieved any of my success without the constant help and encouragement of my family, coaches, teammates and friends,” Snyder said. “I love competing for Ohio State and representing my country.”

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