Listen to “5PM10: Olympic and World Teamer Ellis Coleman” on Spreaker.
After an eight-week hiatus, the Five Point Move Podcast returns with special guest Ellis Coleman (66 kg, Army/WCAP). Coleman, 26, is obviously a very familiar name to US Greco-Roman fans due to his two Junior World bronzes that preceded a memorable run to the 2012 London Olympics. Five years later, “The Flying Squirrel” is still considered one of the top overall Greco athletes in the country, this despite various injuries and surgeries that once threatened to cut short his career.
But we keep it current in this episode. Coleman’s 2016-17 proved to be one of his best yet, and not just because he managed to secure a second appearance at the Senior World Championships. The continued emergence of NMU star Alex Sancho gave way to a tension-filled series of matches that culminated with a Coleman win at the 2017 World Team Trials, though the road to Vegas is what perhaps mattered most. Once known for his dynamic skill-set and creative high-flying offensive attacks, Coleman’s style evolved into more grinding and brawling. He was still finding success, but it wasn’t the same. Then last spring, something clicked for the Illinois native both physically and mentally, and while there may not have been a string of highlight-reel finishes, it was clear he had rediscovered the physical toolset that used to be his calling card.
In addition, Coleman endured a health scare leading up to the Paris World Championships that seemingly came out of nowhere. His body was shutting down throughout training camp and the problem persisted even after the summer was over, resulting in a frustrating pursuit of the truth. How this illness affected Coleman and his status are, of course, discussed in the program. A few questions pertaining to several social issues making the news are also brought up to add a different twist and are certainly out of the norm compared to the usual breadth of topics we tend to focus on.
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS
Coleman on the 2017 Thor Masters Invitational in March serving as a turning point for the season
“It was nice. I think the big thing was getting overseas and having fun, having that feel again and being able to listen to my music, being in that environment again, and thinking about the past when I would be at my Junior tournaments. Same thing, enjoying myself. That being a big tournament to kind of step up and know where I’m at because it’s overseas, you know? There’s not as much pressure, it’s not a US tournament. I’m not looking to be number one, I’m not competing against the guys who I’ll be competing against to make the World Team. I was more at ease during the tournament and a good thing is, it was earlier in the year, too. I was able to just let myself go, let loose, and go out there and have fun.”
Coleman on his loss to Mate Nemes at the World Championships and if it was devastating considering the year he had
“Yeah, it was because I was at a high, you know? I was thinking, I mean, everyone is obviously going out there thinking they’re going to get a medal, but I particularly was thinking this was another opportunity for me to shine, another opportunity to go out there and do what I’m good at. I remember walking off the mat, sitting down at the edge of the mat, and looking up at my coach. He grabbed my head and he’s like, It’s alright. I remember just sitting there for a second thinking in my head, I wrestled as hard as I could. If I didn’t, then in my mind I did, because I was exhausted after that match.”
Coleman on his health following scares during the summer and later at the CISM Military Worlds in September
“We couldn’t figure out what was going on and I knew. My coaches were saying a lot of positive things to help me out, to keep my mind right and ready for Worlds, to keep me training and to keep my mind on the prize. But it was hard, it was tough, wrestling with it and training with it — and not knowing. It’s always difficult having something and not knowing what’s going on. So there were just a lot of things going through my mind like, What the hell is wrong? How is this going to affect me when I’m wrestling? I keep getting tired and I don’t want this to affect me going into the World Championships. I’m just happy and fortunate that it’s over with now.”