The final day of freestyle wrestling closed out at the 2016 Olympics as Kyle Snyder made history once again. The 20-year old wrestler became the youngest individual to win an Olympic gold medal as he defeated Khetag Gazyumov in the finals.
In what was a slow match, Snyder remained controlled and poised to win with a 2-1 score. Snyder defended all of Gazyumov’s takedown attempts and the under hooks that plagued him when the two met earlier this year. Snyder’s adjustments and his footwork kept him from surrendering any points as he joined Helen Maroulis as the only American Olympic champions in wrestling this year.
Snyder put together an impressive run to this gold medal. He outscored his opponents 28-8 as he pushed his way to the first place finish. Along with J’Den Cox, they have set the stage for the youth movement in American wrestling.
Frank Molinaro also competed on the final day of wrestling but he ended the day in the fifth position. He ran into some tough competition and ended his Olympic outing with a 2-2 record. He dropped a back and forth match against 2015 world champion Frank Chamizo for the bronze. Even though he walked away without a medal it was a strong showing for the former NCAA national champion.
Team USA came into the Olympics with high expectations. Even though disappointment hit many of the athletes, there are many bright points for this team to take into Tokyo in 2020 and beyond.