Ellis Coleman Secures Olympic Spot with "Flying Squirrel"

His "flying squirrel" move helped him beat Joe Betterman in the 132-pound class.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Oak Park's Ellis Coleman said his brother was the master behind the cleverly named "Flying Squirrel" move. Lauren Jiggetts reports. (Published Friday, Jun 29, 2012)

    A young man's popular wrestling move called the "flying squirrel" could go from viral video to international sensation if he unleashes it at the Olympic Games in London this summer.

    Ellis Coleman, 20, from Oak Park High School made history Sunday night in Iowa City. He became the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team when he beat fellow Chicagoan Joe Betterman 2-0 in the finals of the Greco-Roman 132-pound class - compliments of the flying squirrel.

    See below video for Flying Squirrel in action:

    Ironically, Coleman went to various clinics where 27-year-old Betterman, a product of Lakeview High School, was the instructor.

    The flying squirrel was featured in ESPN’s Best of the Best Highlights in 2011. The move requires the wrestler to somersault over his opponent’s back, which is immediately followed by grabbing the opponent for the takedown.

    Coleman describes the move as a monkey on his back. He admitted to being apprehensive about it, given that he usually only utilizes it when he is losing.

    The Olympian described how his frustrations and numerous losses in high school motivated him to be more aggressive in the sport.

    Coleman said he often visualizes himself doing the flying squirrel at a critical moment during the Olympic match and seeing the crowd go wild.

    Coleman joins Olympic diver and fellow Illinoisan Mary Beth Dunnichay as two of the youngest Olympians in America.

    Editor's Note: This post was initially published on April 23, 2012.

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