COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Standout performances during August earned Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Maryland), Helen Maroulis (New York, New York) and the U.S. Men’s Freestyle Wrestling World Championship Team Best of August honors for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, the United States Olympic Committee announced today. Snyder, Maroulis and the U.S. men’s freestyle team are among the qualified athletes and teams that are eligible for Best of the Year honors in 2017.
In a bout that was dubbed “The Match of the Century” by United World Wrestling, Snyder defeated Olympic and two-time world champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia, 6-5, to win the 97 kg. gold medal and help claim a historic team title for the U.S. men’s freestyle team at the World Wrestling Championships in Paris. The victory marked Snyder’s second individual career world title and third straight world or Olympic gold medal, having also won the world title in 2015 and the Olympic gold medal in 2016. With the team title on the line, the 21-year-old scored the winning takedown in the closing seconds of the gold-medal match, securing Team USA’s first men’s freestyle wrestling world team title in 22 years.
At the same world championships, Maroulis won the women’s gold medal at 58 kg., marking her third straight world or Olympic crown after also winning a world title in 2015 and Olympic gold medal in 2016 – all in different weight classes. In one of the most dominant individual performances of the event, she won all five of her matches by technical fall and outscored her opponents by a combined 52-0 mark.
In team competition, the U.S. men’s freestyle team tallied six medals to claim only its third world team title in history – and the first since 1995 – edging Russia by one point with Snyder’s dramatic victory in the final gold-medal match of the event. In addition to Snyder, Team USA’s Jordan Burroughs (74 kg.) also claimed gold, while James Green (70 kg.) and Thomas Gilman (57 kg.) took silver, and J’den Cox (86 kg.) and Nick Gwiazdowski (125 kg.) claimed bronze. The six medals were the most won by a U.S. men’s freestyle world championship team since 1995.
In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by DICK’S Sporting Goods and USG.
About the Team USA Awards
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male and one team per discipline. An internal nominating committee selects five nominees from both the male and female categories, and three from the team category to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via TeamUSA.org/Awards.
Each of the five monthly men’s and women’s finalists, and three team finalists automatically qualify for consideration for the 2017 Team USA Awards presented by Dow Best of the Year. Visit TeamUSA.org for a complete list of monthly finalists from the 2016-17 qualification period. The 2017 Best of the Year Awards will be held Nov. 29 in Los Angeles.
Photos by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors. Graphic designed by USOC.