LONDON — Exactly a year after losing his sight while on military service in Afghanistan, American Brad Snyder captured swimming gold at the London Paralympics by winning the 400-meter freestyle.
Snyder won his second gold of the games in convincing style, beating Enhamed Enhamed of Spain by nearly six seconds in a time of 4 minutes, 32.41 seconds in front of many of the Navy lieutenant's U.S. servicemen friends.
"It's really great that they were able to make it today and be with me," the 28-year-old Snyder said. "The crowd is so emotional, it's hard to put that out of my mind.
"But after the military, I am conditioned to do that quite well."
Snyder was blinded by a blast after he stepped on an improvised explosive device laid by Taliban while on duty in Kandahar.
Snyder, of St. Petersburg, Fla., is one of many servicemen in London using sports to aid their recovery after being injured on the front lines of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
"This was a whim of a dream last February so for it to come true, it is very, very exciting," said Snyder, who has also won gold in the 100 freestyle and silver in the 50. "I am absolutely elated with the outcome."