| LONDON, July 26
LONDON, July 26 American Greco-Roman wrestler
Ellis Coleman is nicknamed the "flying squirrel" for a fearsome
move he would prefer not to use at the Olympic Games.
Coleman only lets it out of its cage when he is losing, a
situation the U.S. champion in the 60kg division will be trying
hard to avoid.
The move is made up of several steps, starting with snapping
his opponent's head down then attempting to leap over him while
simultaneously grabbing his waist and pulling the rival down.
Crowd pleaser yes, but it's a last resort for the
20-year-old Olympic debutant who shares the nickname with
compatriot Gabby Douglas, the exciting 16-year-old gymnast also
"I hope I don't get into that situation, as much as a lot of
people came here to watch me wrestle want to see it. It's a
pretty high-risk move," Coleman told Reuters.
"I don't want to have to hit it, but if I do I'm going to be
a giant and make it happen.
"I'm going to do whatever to get my takedown. If it doesn't
work, the flying squirrel's coming out," he said with a broad
Coleman's move has proved to be an internet hit and was an
amusing distraction from the serious talk of Olympic competition
as the American and five teammates answered questions on
His opponents know better than to fear the athletic
manoeuvre according to Coleman, not that it has lost its ability
to stun his rivals.
"I don't think any opponent will be worrying about the move,
they'll be worried about scoring and winning the match.
"A lot of countries know the move. They're trying to use it
but I still don't think, once I do it and if I get enough
height, that they'll be able to stop it."
Its audacity is in keeping with the traditional American
attitude to wrestling.
GO FOR BROKE
"Go all out, keep scoring, keep smashing your opponent and
break them on the mat. That's always been American tradition,"
said Coleman, who grew up in a rough Chicago suburb.
"That's how our best guys got their medals and that's how
the coach wants us to get our medals."
Teammate Justin Lester echoed the bold policy.
"Expect me to score double the points back. For me it's gold
or nothing," said Lester, who will compete in the 66kg category.
Coleman knows from experience that taking the foot off the
accelerator can have disastrous consequences.
"The two times I lost this year I didn't go for broke. I
didn't wrestle as hard as I could.
"I said to myself before this tournament I have nothing to
lose, I have no reason to be nervous. I shouldn't have anything
to regret at the end of this tournament.
"I can't wait for August 6," he said in reference to the
24-hour time period that he will have to fulfill or dash his
gold medal hopes.
Coleman has fought in the 66kg division and said dropping to
the 60kg bracket would be "probably one of the hardest things"
he has ever had to do.
"I'm dreading having to lose this weight."
(Edited by Ossian Shine)