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American Homefront

Blinded Naval Academy Grad Invited to Swim in Paralympics

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Elyse and Brad Snyder prior to the 2011 Tampa Navy Ball. Photo courtesy of Navy Sports.

St. Petersburg native Brad Snyder has earned an invitation to swim with the U.S. Paralympic Team in the London 2012 Games.

Snyder, a 2006 U.S. Naval Academy graduate and swim team captain, competed in his first swim meet this past weekend since being blinded by an explosive six months ago in Afghanistan. Swimming the 50 free at the Bobby Flowers Swim Meet in Colorado Springs, Snyder finished just 1.8 seconds off the paralympic blind division world record.

His performance earned him an invitation to become part of the team. Snyder swam for four years while at the Naval Academy. After graduating, he became an Explosive Ordinance Disposal officer and was serving on his second tour in Afghanistan when blinded by an IED.

Just two months after his injury, Snyder ran a 10K race in Clearwater with the guidance of his therapist.  You can read more about Snyder’s swimming and military service in a Navy Sports article.