Kyle Snyder ends Ohio State career with third NCAA title (video)

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Olympic and world champion Kyle Snyder capped his Ohio State wrestling career by three-peating as NCAA heavyweight champion on Saturday night.

In the 285-pound final, Snyder beat Adam Coon, who handed Snyder his first NCAA loss in almost three years in a Feb. 11 dual meet.

Tied 1-1, Snyder scored a two-point takedown with 22 seconds left and won 3-2.

Coon is about six inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than Snyder, who wrestles internationally in the 213-pound division. The two highest NCAA weight classes are 197 and 285.

“I’m glad heavyweight’s done,” Snyder said Saturday night.

Snyder will continue his already storied international career as a professional.

In 2015, he became the youngest American to win a world wrestling title, seven months after losing at the Big Ten Championships.

In 2016, he became the youngest American to win an Olympic wrestling title.

Last August, he repeated as world champion by beating Russian Abdulrashid Sadulayev, dubbed the Match of the Century as Sadulayev moved up in weight for the showdown. Snyder handed the Russian Tank his first loss in nearly four years.

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Katie Ledecky, Kyle Snyder named U.S. Olympic athletes of the year

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Katie LedeckyKyle Snyder and the women’s national hockey team earned best-of-the-year honors at the Team USA Awards on Wednesday night.

NBC will air coverage of the awards Dec. 23 from 5-6 p.m. ET.

Ledecky won Female Athlete of the Year for the third time after marking her largest medal haul ever at a major international meet — five golds and one silver at the world championships in Budapest in July.

She beat out finalists Mikaela Shiffrin (first World Cup overall title), Helen Maroulis (won her five world matches by a combined 53-0 en route to repeat gold), Lindsey Jacobellis (fifth world snowboard cross title) and Heather Bergsma (two golds, one bronze at speed skating worlds).

Snyder became the fourth wrestler to earn Male Athlete of the Year after repeating as world champion by beating Russian Abdulrashid Sadulayev in the 97kg freestyle final, dubbed the Match of the Century.

Snyder handed the Russian Tank, the Olympic 86kg champion, his first loss in nearly four years in August.

The other men’s finalists were swimmer Caeleb Dressel (seven golds at worlds), pole vaulter Sam Kendricks (world title, undefeated year), biathlete Lowell Bailey (first American to win an Olympic or world biathlon title) and skier McRae Williams (world gold, X Games silver in slopestyle).

The women’s hockey national team earned Team of the Year for the first time since it won the first Olympic women’s hockey title in 1998.

The U.S. women nearly boycotted the world championship due to a pay dispute. They reached an agreement with USA Hockey three days before the tournament. Despite little prep time, they went undefeated in Plymouth, Mich., beating rival Canada 3-2 in overtime in the April final.

The other team finalists were women’s water polo (fifth world title) and bobsledders Elana Meyers Taylor and Kehri Jones (world champions).

Paralympic Athletes of the Year went to track and field athletes Tatyana McFadden and Mikey Brannigan and the men’s sled hockey team.

Coaches of the Year went to national freestyle wrestling coach Bill Zadick and Para Nordic skiing coach Eileen Carey.

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Olympic champion loses gold medal escaping California fire, reports say

Henry Cejudo
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Henry Cejudo suffered foot burns and lost his Olympic gold medal escaping a California wildfire on Monday, according to reports.

Cejudo did not return messages seeking confirmation Tuesday.

The wrestler turned UFC fighter said he was lucky to be alive after jumping out of the second floor of a two-story hotel to escape the smoke at 4:30 a.m. on Monday, according to Yahoo Sports.

“You know, the medal just was an object, just a medal and that’s it,” Cejudo said, according to the report. “What really meant something was the blood, the sweat, the tears that went into getting that medal. I’ll always have the memories of that with me.

“I’m not too worried about that. This was a tragedy, just like that terrible thing that happened in [Las] Vegas. It’s awful. Losing a medal, man, I am fortunate to be here talking to you and being alive. That’s the important thing.”

Cejudo, who became the then-youngest U.S. Olympic wrestling champion at 21 at Beijing 2008, gained instant fame as the son of undocumented immigrants from Mexico. In Rio, Kyle Snyder broke Cejudo’s record as youngest gold medalist.

Cejudo’s story was told in a book, “American Victory.”

After failing to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials, Cejudo debuted in mixed martial arts in 2013. He is 11-2 with a scheduled fight Dec. 2.

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