By Leah Jenk | Oct. 19, 2018, 10:17 a.m. (ET)

(L): Kyle Snyder competes for the Ohio State Buckeyes; (R): Kyle Snyder celebrates after winning a match for the United States.

 

Kyle Snyder was in the midst of deciding whether to return to The Ohio State University or become a professional wrestler. But at 21 years old, Snyder was already the best wrestler in the world.

In 2016, he became the first wrestler to win an NCAA national championship, a world championship and an Olympic gold medal.

“I only thought about it for maybe two days,” Snyder says about his return to Ohio State following the Olympic Games Rio 2016. He returned to the Buckeyes and won two more NCAA national titles, cementing his place as the most successful college wrestler in history.

“The 2017 national championship is my favorite tournament for sure. Twenty-thousand people in a sold-out Madison Square Garden is more than an Olympic gold medal match,” said Snyder. 

Having graduated last May, Snyder has transitioned to professional wrestling and is now training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His daily routine consists of a morning lift session, a team meeting and then practice from 9:30-11 a.m. He eats lunch and relaxes for a bit before practicing again from 4-5:30 p.m. Snyder says there are no real surprises about his training, except that he doesn’t take naps. Nine hours of sleep a night keeps him healthy and strong to train.

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Ironically, Snyder is now training with a few of his old college rivals, including J’den Cox from the University of Missouri and Ty Walz from Virginia Tech. College wrestling is a breeding ground for Team USA; 57 of the 60 national team members are former student-athletes. 

And when the college wrestling season returns in November, Snyder will return to Ohio State to train with and mentor the Buckeyes. But instead of balancing wrestling with college classes, Snyder will turn his attention to other opportunities. 

“I love speaking,” he says. “I’ve had the chance to speak to different audiences and got to visit my elementary and middle schools.”

Snyder is also using his professional platform to elevate wrestling – he’s now working with his first sponsor to develop a wrestling shoe and apparel line.

“It’s awesome to develop products that represent who I am and my fans will get to use.”

Fans were so excited to be a part of Snyder’s new endeavor that the website crashed shortly after the presale launch.

Despite his increasing fame, Snyder says it would never change who he is. 

“I was raised on my faith and right now I believe that God wants me to continue to be the best wrestler I can be. I’ll continue to do that for as long as He leads me,” he ensured. 

Snyder is currently in Germany for what he calls acclimation camp. Team USA will train there for a week and a half to adjust to the time zone before the upcoming 2018 world championship begins in Budapest, Hungary. There, he will look to defend his 2015 and 2017 heavyweight titles.