Winners one and all
Campus celebrates Buckeye Olympians, including gold medalist Kyle Snyder.
Tokyo, here we come.
That’s the new mantra of several Buckeyes now back from the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where wrestler Kyle Snyder won a gold medal.
In all, 15 current and former Ohio State athletes and one coach represented a total of nine countries at the games. Six undergraduates took part in a welcome-home celebration at the Ohio Union in late August and said they already have their sights set on the 2020 games in Japan.
“I had an amazing experience in Rio,” said junior Dustin Tynes, who competed in the 100-meter breaststroke for the Bahamas. “The competition was unlike any other that I have competed in. The stands were filled with supporters, which is something I didn’t even see at world championships last summer.”
Senior Eleanor Harvey realized the games’ magnitude when she saw that every piece of gym equipment in the Olympic Village was occupied. The fencer, who competed for Canada in foil, wasn’t considered a medal favorite. But she knocked off the world’s top-ranked athlete in her sport, Italy’s Arianna Errigo, to make it to the quarterfinals.
“I knew I didn’t have anything to lose,” Harvey said of her attitude going into the games. “Maybe now anyone who took Canada for granted might take us more seriously.”
Senior Aina Cid I Centelles, who along with her rowing partner claimed a sixth-place finish for Spain, was pleased all of the practice and planning paid off. “When I crossed the finish line, I achieved my goal,” she said.
Fellow senior Nichelle Prince helped Canada’s women’s soccer team win bronze. Getting to the Olympics had been a personal goal since childhood, she said, noting, “I’ve been dreaming of this since I was 10.”
All of the Buckeye Olympians are stars, but Snyder was the one to bring home gold — in wrestling’s freestyle 97-kilogram (214-pound) class, one of six weight categories. The medal capped a series of accomplishments for Snyder that included the 2016 NCAA heavyweight title, the 2015 Pan American Games title and an American World Championship.
Among his most memorable moments in Rio: seeing his family in the stands after the championship match and participating in his medal ceremony.
What is Snyder’s secret weapon, you ask? Commitment is certainly part of it. (He worked out 13 times a week leading up to the games). But so, too, is attitude.
“I don’t fear losing,” Snyder said. “The challenge is what I get excited for.”