Oak Park Olympian Ellis Coleman appears on NBC's Today Show

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By Graham Johnston

Oak Park Olympian Ellis Coleman's debut at the London games may have been short-lived after losing in the qualification round, but Coleman did manage to get one more moment on the world stage.

Coleman, a 2009 graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School, appeared on NBC's Today Show on Wednesday morning to give hosts Matt Lauer and Al Roker a lesson in Greco-Roman wrestling. Lauer's biggest mistake during the lesson may have been asking an innocent question about Coleman's infamous nickname.

"Now you got this nickname, 'the flying squirrel.' How did you get that?" Lauer asked.

Without pause Coleman leaped onto Lauer and demonstrated the wrestling move that gave him his trademark nickname. A shocked Lauer quickly found himself being held upside by Coleman.

"Put me down, Ellis, put me down," Lauer pleaded. "Don't ever do that again. When I say, 'Why do they call you 'the flying squirrel,' you just tell me."

See the full video here.

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Posted: August 14th, 2012 12:43 PM

Hasn't this story been the homepage feature for a week now? Come on Wednesday Journal. Show some sign of life.

Eric Davis from Oak Park  

Posted: August 9th, 2012 5:28 PM

Ellis hitting the Squirrel on Lauer was priceless. Ellis is young - he's the youngest wrestler in London! His very first match at the world Senior level (his world bronze last year was as a Junior) was at the Olympics, against last year's Senior world bronze medalist! He'll be back, stronger than ever, in Rio in 2016. The best is yet to come for Ellis Coleman - although hoisting Matt Lauer was another instant classic!

Zillyme from Oak park  

Posted: August 9th, 2012 5:23 PM

Priceless! Congratulations Ellis - well done

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