Four years ago, former Lt. Bradley Snyder was recovering from a bomb blast that took his eye sight and required numerous reconstructive surgeries on his face. Today, his inspiring recovery from blast survivor to U.S. Paralympic champion is the subject of a the subject of a forthcoming film about his life, his war injury and his dominance of U.S. Paralympic swimming since leaving the Navy.
The movie is still in pre-production, entertainment news site Deadline reported last year after screenwriter Robert Knott signed on to tell Snyder's story.
Snyder stepped on an IED in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in September 2011, and a year later to the day, won gold in the 400-meter freestyle in London — where he won another gold and a silver, he told an audience at the Sea Air Space conference outside Washington, D.C. in 2013.
His injuries required several reconstructive facial surgeries, but what little eyesight he had left was soon gone.
"I was able to see out of my left eye for a brief moment after I was blown up," he told the Associated Press in London in 2012. "I looked down and saw I had both my legs and both my arms, and immediately felt relatively optimistic about the outcome. I felt very thankful that maybe this isn't going to be so bad."
Lt. Bradley Snyder earned medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games for his swimming, only a year after being blinded by an IED blast.
Photo Credit: Paul Cunningham/US Presswire
The former Naval Academy swimmer returned to the pool during his rehab, he said.
"It was pretty much immediate that I [decided I] was going to try and minimize my blindness as much as possible, and get out and pursue success," he said. "Thankfully my support network was pretty savvy and said, `You should check out this Paralympic swimming thing.' "
Snyder has gone on to be an ambassador the COMMIT Foundation and other veterans' outreach organizations.
Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer, according to Deadline, as Snyder heads to his second Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.