London rewind: Sept. 7, 2012
What a difference a year made for U.S. Navy Lt. Brad Snyder.
On Sept. 7, 2011, Snyder lost his sight when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving in Afghanistan. Exactly one year to the date, he stepped on to the top of the podium at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
"It's not a poor anniversary,” said Snyder, who won the men’s 400m freestyle (S11). “I'm really looking forward to celebrating how far myself and my family have been able to come over the past year."
With one event remaining on his program, he has two gold medals and one silver.
"I'll have a lot of friends and family in the stands tonight,” he said. “It's a special night for all of us and we are going to look at this evening as a celebration. A celebration of conquest, if you like. Regardless of the outcome, we are all happy to be together, being in London and enjoying the experience."
His time, 4:32.41, was nearly six seconds faster than the 4:38.24 time of defending champion Enhamed Enhamed of Spain. China’s Bozun Yang, who won silver at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, finished in 4:41.73, a time good enough for bronze.
"I am not exceptional,” Snyder said. “I have just been provided with an exceptional family and an exceptional support network and I've been able to make the most of some great opportunities that have come my way. It's just a situation of exceptional circumstances and I feel very, very fortunate to be here today as opposed to where I was last year at about this time."
His medal was one of six Team USA claimed in the pool on Sept. 7, 2012.
Americans Rebecca Anne Meyers and Kelley Becherer went 2-3 in the women’s 200m individual medley (SM13). On the third leg of the race, defending world champion Becherer was overtaken by eventual champion Valerie Grand-Maison of Canada and Meyers.
With American Roy Perkins back in the pool in the men’s 50m butterfly (S5), favorite Daniel Dias of Brazil knew it would probably take a world record to win his fifth title at the Games. And the Brazillian did exactly that, setting a world record 34.15 seconds. Perkins settled for silver.
Tucker Dupree claimed the bronze medal in the men’s 50m freestyle (S12), coming in behind Ukrainian Maksym Versksa and Russian Aleksandr Nevolin-Svetov. It was a familiar podium as the trio occupied the podium in the exact same order not only in the 100m freestyle (S12) in London but also in the 50 at the 2010 world meet.
The team of Susan Beth Scott, Anna Johannes, Jessica Long and Mallory Weggemann also claimed a bronze medal in the women's 4x100m medley relay (34 points).
Other action from Sept. 7, 2012:
- Cyclists Muffy Davis and Monica Bascio each collected their second road cycling medals of these Games after finishing first and second in the individual H 1-3 road race from Brand’s Hatch. The 1-2 finish by the Americans took the U.S. road cycling overall medal total to 11, second only to Germany, a country that had 12 medals through Sept. 7.
- It was another golden night for Team USA at the Olympic Stadium track, as 10 U.S. Paralympians competed in five finals and qualifying events. The team won two titles on Day 9 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Starting off a string of United States victories was 18-year-old Raymond Martin who won his third gold medal of the Games in the men’s 400 – T52 race. Not to be outshined by Martin, Tatyana McFadden also won her third gold medal of the Games in the women’s 1500m - T54. Three-time U.S. Paralympian Shirley Reilly came in third in that race, winning bronze, to bring her medal total to two for the Games (silver in the women’s 5000m – T54).
- Nick Taylor left the London 2012 Paralympic Games with two medals, his best Paralympic Games performance since his debut at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. Taylor won the bronze medal in the men’s quad singles on Sept. 7, earning his first singles medal after finishing just off the podiums in fourth at the Paralympic Games in Athens and Beijing. He conquered Israeli Shraga Weinberg 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 solidifying himself as one of the world’s most accomplished wheelchair tennis athletes.
- Team USA’s Zena Cole picked up a bronze medal in the women’s discus throw (F51/52/53) at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, setting a new Americas record in the process. Cole already held the Americas record in the discus throw for the F51 class, which she set at the Parapan American Games last year where she won gold. Her throw today of 5.25m was enough to better her record and put her on the podium.
- The U.S. women’s sitting volleyball team claimed the silver medal, falling to China in a thrilling gold medal match. Team USA started strong, winning the first set 25-22. China struck back quickly and won the next three sets in a row (15-25, 30-32, 15-25) to capture their third consecutive gold. In the history of sitting volleyball at the Paralympic Games, the U.S. and China have always met in the gold medal final, always with the same result.
- With two strong wins already under their belt versus Great Britain and Japan, the U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby Team took another step forward in their quest to defend their gold medal from the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. The team moved to a 3-0 record with a masterful 70-44 win over France.
To commemorate the one year anniversary of the London 2012 Paralympic Games,USParalympics.org will look back on the best performances of the Games through Sept. 9.