Snyder, Zadick Take Top Honors at USOC’s Team USA Awards
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 15:50 By
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the winners for the 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of the Year, recognizing the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes, teams and coaches.
The Male Olympic Athlete of the Year is 2017 World champion freestyle wrestler Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md./Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC).
“This is great because Team USA is built from a ton of amazing and talented athletes. To be awarded this title is pretty special,” said Snyder.
Snyder becomes just the fourth wrestler to win a USOC Athlete of the Year award, joining Olympic and World champions John Smith in 1990, Rulon Gardner in 2000 and Jordan Burroughs in 2015.
Snyder won the 97 kg World gold medal in what was dubbed the “Match of the Century,” defeating Olympic champion and two-time World champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia in the finals. His win gave the USA the World Team title over Russia by one team point.
“In the World finals, I faced someone that many people think is one of the greatest of all time, and I competed well. I was able to train hard both mentally and physically for the World Championships,” said Snyder.
“We are really excited to see Kyle recognized by the U.S. Olympic family for his incredible contributions to USA Wrestling’s program and the U.S. Olympic movement. Congratulations to Kyle, his family, his coaches and his teammates on this achievement,” said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.
USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick, who led Team USA to the World Team Title in freestyle wrestling, was named National Olympic Coach of the Year.
The United States edged Russia by one point to win the 2017 Freestyle World Team Title, its first in 22 years going back to 1995, and only its third ever.
“It is an honor to be included in this group of excellent coaches, which is humbling. A good plan is contingent upon good people in the right places. We have a vision to be the best and believed we could be World Champion. It is a victory for everybody,” said Zadick.
Zadick became National Freestyle Coach in August 2016 and was in his first year leading the program after more than seven years as an Assistant National Freestyle Coach.
“We are extremely excited to see Bill Zadick recognized with such a prestigious honor. In the short time that Bill has been National Freestyle Coach, he has established himself as one of the very best coaches and leaders in Olympic sport. He is a great coach but even a better person,” said Bender.
Zadick is the first USA Wrestling coach to win the USOC Olympic Coach of the Year award, and only the second to win any USOC coaching award.