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Oak Park's "Flying Squirrel" Takes Down Matt Lauer

Ellis Coleman tried out his tricky, signature move on the Today Show host

By Lisa Balde
|  Wednesday, Aug 8, 2012  |  Updated 11:34 AM CDT
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Oak Park's Ellis Coleman showed Today Show host Matt Lauer how the Olympic wrestler earned the nickname the "flying squirrel."

And Lauer won't want to ask about the tricky, signature move that went viral on YouTube ever again.

During a lesson in Greco-Roman wrestling, 20-year-old Coleman, a graduate of Oak Park High School, and Dremiel Byers showed off a few of their moves on Lauer and Al Roker.

As Coleman circled his new-found anchor-competitor on the mat, Lauer ventured a question about his nickname. In the middle of asking, Coleman skipped the verbal answer and flipping over and taking him down.

"Put me down, Ellis, put me down!" an upside-down Lauer said

"Is that even legal?" he said, trying to get up. "Yes it is," Coleman said, laughing.

"Don't ever do that again!" Lauer responded, playfully shoving Coleman a little. "When I say, 'Why do they call you the flying squirrel,' you just tell me."

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Coleman became the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team this summer when he beat fellow Chicagoan Joe Betterman 2-0 in the finals of the Greco-Roman 132-pound class thanks to the move.

He lost Monday during the qualifying round, falling to Ivo Angelov of Bulgaria during his London debut. He said he remains focused on winning and on making his mother proud.

"Everything I do I do it for my mom. I walk for my mom. I live for my mom. I wrestle for my mom. Everything goes in her name and I hope she takes all the credit because she deserves all the credit," he said Monday.

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