WASHINGTON (WJZ) — President Barack Obama welcomed the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to celebrate their record-breaking run in Rio, including some from Maryland.
Hundreds of the best athletes in the world squeezed into the East Room of the White House on Thursday
“There’s no kid in America who can’t look at our Olympic team and see themselves somewhere,,” said Obama.
The president praised Team USA for winning 46 gold medals, including Woodbine wrestler Kyle Snyder, who stopped by WJZ to show us his gold medal!
“About seventh grade is when I found out that I loved the sport and wanted to try to be the best in the world, and wrestling in the Olympics is the way you can prove that,” said Snyder.
And he did, winning the gold in his first Olympic games.
“It’s really special, hard to put my emotions into words after I won, but a lot of happiness, a lot of joy,” he said.
Maryland’s own Katie Ledecky, gold medalist swimmer Brad Snyder, gold medalist wrestler Helen Maroulis and gold medalist Tatyana McFadden were all in attendance on Thursday.
Michael Phelps was unfortunately absent from the ceremony.
“Michael Phelps became the greatest Olympian of all time, broke a 2,000 year record for the most individual Olympic titles. If you’re breaking a 2,000 year record, that’s pretty impressive,” the president said.
“My goal is definitely to compete in Tokyo, but I want to compete in five Olympic games total. There’s never been an American to compete in five Olympic games. I like doing things that have never been done before,” Snyder said.
In addition to competing, Snyder has two more years at Ohio State. In the meantime, he’s making Maryland proud.
Snyder says his singlets and his wrestling shoes will be on display at the Smithsonian and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum.
Earlier this month, Snyder threw out the first pitch at the Orioles game.