A Tampa Bay Paralympian swimmer made history in Tokyo. His tremendous accomplishment in this event will secure him a spot in the Paralympics record books.

St. Pete native Brad Snyder is a hero. This Northeast High School and U.S. Naval Academy grad has overcome obstacles to achieve excellence.

While deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, Brad was severely injured by an improvised explosive device. He lost his vision as a result of the explosion. Part of his rehabilitation was in the swimming pool. Brad was part of the swim team in high school and captained the Naval Academy team, so he took to the pool like a fish to water.

Brad’s rehab went so well that he became part of the 2012 US Paralympic National Team and brought home gold and silver medals. He has competed in Rio Paralympics and added more gold and silver to his medal collection.

Fast-forward to the Paralympic Games going on now in Tokyo. This was the first time that the triathlon has been included in the Paralympics. Brad decided to participate in it. How did he do?

Not only did Brad win the gold but he finished nearly a minute ahead of the runner-up!

A huge Tampa Bay congrats to this St. Pete native!

Here are some words from Brad to motivate and inspire:

I have learned how to harness the power of perspective; by leveraging a positive outlook, while at the same time being especially mindful of the perilous blind spots of biases and assumptions, it’s possible to see how to conquer the unimaginable.

I have learned that our minds and bodies have limitations far beyond what we might expect, and the only way to truly know is to explore and breakthrough those boundaries.

[SOURCE News Channel 8/Team USA/Brad Snyder]

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