Brad Snyder

Date of Birth: 
February 29, 1984
Baltimore, MD
U.S. Paralympic Swimming
Professional Swimmer

2012 Paralympic Champion

U.S. Paralympic Swimmer, Retired U.S. Navy Lt. Brad Snyder (Baltimore, MD) is a two-time Gold Medalist and silver medalist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Snyder, a swimmer who won a gold medal on Sept. 7, 2012, the exact one-year anniversary of the improvised explosive device explosion in Afghanistan that cost him his vision, has returned to international competition last month in Pasadena, CA, winning six gold medals and one bronze medal at the 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships.
Snyder who won gold in the S11 100m Freestyle and 400m Freestyle, as well as silver in the 50m Freestyle at the London 2012 Games is making his way back onto the International stage for the first time in nearly 2 years. While serving in Afghanistan in 2011, Navy officer Bradley Snyder became permanently blinded after stepping on a bomb while trying to help other victims. The explosion took both his eyes, shattered his eardrum, and lacerated his face. He spent three weeks in intensive care and another five weeks in recovery. He recounts, “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.”

Prior to this incident, Brad was known for his tenacity and fierce spirit, allowing obstacles to simply be spring boards for his next achievements. Anything he set his sight to, he accomplished. “I’m going to show people that I’m not going to let this beat me. I’m not going to let blindness build a brick wall around me. I am going to find a way forward,” stated Snyder.

The Speaker

Brad has dedicated himself to the study and application of virtue in all aspects of life in order to eliminate perceived limitations and to enable his community’s pursuit of happiness. He aims to do this by setting a positive example in the pool, motivational speaking and eventually life coaching. Brad enjoys sharing his story of trials on the battlefield as well as the field of competition, and the lessons he's learned along the way. Through his engagement with various audiences, Brad hopes to inspire others to embrace challenge, conquer fears or inhibitions, and achieve happiness!