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Brad Snyder    

Two-Time Paralympic Gold Medalist Swimmer & Navy Veteran

Brad Snyder began his professional career as an Ensign in the US Navy, after graduating from the US Naval Academy with a degree in Naval Architecture. Through his distinction as the swim team captain during his final year, he earned an assignment as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer. Snyder deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008 and deployed again two years later to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After six months of assault operations, Snyder was severely injured by the explosion of a nearby improvised explosive device (IED).

The explosion resulted in complete vision loss for Snyder, but he did not suffer any other lasting wounds. A few months later, Snyder returned to the pool as part of his rehabilitation process, very quickly realizing that the pool was his “safe space.” Within a few months of training, Snyder earned a spot on the US Paralympic National Team for swimming and went on to compete in seven events at the 2012 Paralympics (London) where he earned two gold medals and one silver medal. Even more impressive: his victory in the 400-meter freestyle in London occurred on September 7, 2012—exactly one year from the day he suffered his vision loss.

Snyder medically retired from Naval service in 2013, returned to the Paralympic Games three years later in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He competed in five events, earning three gold medals, one silver medal, and broke a 30-year-old World Record. After Rio, Snyder decided to switch sports to triathlon for a new challenge and won gold for Team USA at the 2020 Tokyo Games. He currently owns six gold medals, two silver medals and one world record.

When not training or competing, Snyder serves as a fellow in the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at his alma mater USNA and as a leadership instructor for future naval officers. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy with the intention of becoming a professor, with hopes to leverage his personal experiences along with developed expertise to inspire future generations of leaders and warriors. Snyder also serves as an athlete representative on the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Board of Directors and is the advisory board chair for the Navy Special Operations Foundation.

Snyder's mission is to study and apply virtue in all aspects of life to empower society’s pursuit of happiness. Snyder is married to his soulmate Sara, and the two live in a lovely home in Maryland with their daughter, Rooney.

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