The son of Valarie Snyder, Brad Snyder grew up as a natural swimmer and used this ability throughout his life, including at the U.S. Naval Academy where he graduated with a degree in Naval Architecture. Now retired, Snyder served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer.
On September 7, 2011, Snyder’s life changed after he stepped on an improvised explosive device while serving in the U.S. Navy. The accident did not harm his arms or legs, however, his eyes were removed and replaced with prosthetics. One year later, Snyder returned to the pool and went on to claim gold in the men’s S11 400m freestyle event at the Paralympic Games London 2012.
In the Paralympic Games London 2012, Snyder was chosen as the USA’s flag bearer at the Closing Ceremony and was later designated as the honorary torch bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2013 Warrior Games.
Snyder competed in his second Paralympic Games in Rio 2016 and afterwards decided he had accomplished enough in the pool and that it was time for a new challenge. As an able-bodied athlete, he had once transitioned from swimming to triathlon, so he thought he would try it again. Two years later, he says he finally feels like a triathlete.
When not competing, Snyder teaches at the Naval Academy and is pursuing his master’s degree.
Sport: Paratriathlon, Swimming
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Currently Resides: Annapolis, Md.
Birthdate: February 29, 1984
Toyota Vehicle: Toyota Tacoma
Paralympic History: 2012, 2016
• Paralympic Games London 2012, gold (100m free, 400m free), silver (50m free)
• Paralympic Games Rio 2016, gold (50m free, 100m free, 400m free), silver (100m back) and broke a World Record in the 200m free that previously stood for more than thirty years
• 2019 CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships, third place
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