Brad Snyder (swimmer)
|Full name||Bradley Warren Snyder|
February 29, 1984 |
Brad Snyder is an American swimmer on the United States Paralympic team who competed at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, winning two Gold medals and one Silver. He lost his eyesight from an IED explosion while serving in the United States Navy in Afghanistan. Among fully blind swimmers, he is the current world record holder for the 400-meter freestyle and 100-meter freestyle events.
Education and military service
Bradley Warren Snyder was born on February 29, 1984 in Reno, Nevada to Michael and Valarie Snyder. He swam while attending Northeast High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2006 with a degree in naval architecture; while there, he was captain of the swim team.
Snyder eventually became a lieutenant in the Navy, and served in Afghanistan as an explosive ordnance disposal officer. In September 2011, he lost both of his eyes after stepping on an IED in an attempt to help victims of another bombing. The explosion also gave him lacerations to his face and a shattered eardrum. Snyder subsequently spent three weeks in intensive care, and then recovered for another five weeks in Florida. He explained, "When you’re kind of patching your life back together and figuring out how to adjust to blindness, you’re not good at anything. Walking was a challenge. Cooking’s a challenge. Dressing and color matching is a challenge. There are all these things that used to be no problem that are all of a sudden really challenging. I had a hard time getting the right amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush, because I can’t see it."
In June 2012 at the U.S. Paralympics Swimming Trials in Bismarck, North Dakota, Snyder won the 400-meter freestyle and beat his own record by 54 seconds. His record time of 4:35.62 made him the current world leader among blind swimmers for the 400-meter freestyle. The race also secured him a spot on the United States Paralympic team at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. In addition, Snyder is the world record holder for the 100-meter freestyle among blind athletes, an event that he also swam in Bismarck.
In August 2012 at the Paralympic Games in London, Snyder won Gold in the 100-meter freestyle (S11) after setting a Paralympic Record (57.18) in the preliminary heat. The following day, he won a Silver Medal in the Men's 50m Freestyle (S11) setting an American record for 25.27. Later that week, Snyder won Gold again in the Men's 400m Freestyle (S11) with a time of 4:32.41, exactly one year to the day after losing his eyesight. The United States Olympic Committee selected Brad to serve as the United States' flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
In 2013, Brad became the official spokesman for a tactile timepiece with his namesake, the "Bradley." Created by the product design company Eone Timepieces, the Bradley is designed in collaboration with vision impaired users. 
- "Bradley Snyder". London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
- "Midshipmen Profile". United States Naval Academy. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- Bowker, Paul D. (June 13, 2012). "Starting with Swimming". United States Olympic Committee. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- Babiarz, Lou (June 16, 2012). "U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials: Snyder world No. 1". Bismarck Tribune. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- Briggs, Bill (June 18, 2012). "London bound: Blinded warrior to represent U.S. at 2012 Paralympics". MSNBC. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
- Chappel, Bill (August 31, 2012). "Navy Lieutenant Swims To Gold In London Paralympics, Months After Injury". National Public Radio. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "Bradley Snyder events and results". London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
- "Men's 400m Freestyle S11". London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- "Brad Snyder to Carry Flag at Closing Ceremony of Paralympic Games". Navy Sports.com Official Site of Naval Academy Athletics. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
- Callum Borchers (12 July 2013). "Thanks to Kickstarter, tactile watch debuts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 17 January 2014.