Coleman Scott “Cowboy’ed Up” to end any doubt about his Olympic dreams

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Updated: August 11, 2012

Former Oklahoma State inspired by those in the U.S. who doubted his Olympic potential

LONDON, England — Coleman Scott faced more than international foes when he came here to compete in his first Olympic Games.

Coleman Scott

The Waynesburg, Pa., native also had to beat back the doubters in his own country … and the 132-pound freestyler used that criticism to drive him to a bronze medal at the ExCel Arena on Saturday evening.

“I read (the prediction that he would not medal) and I got (ticked) off,” said Scott, who did not earn the U.S. Olympic spot until early June, nearly six weeks after the Olympic Trials in April. “I thought to myself, ‘I haven’t done anything. They have the right to not think I’m a title contender.’

“I turned it into motivation because it made me so angry that Americans weren’t even putting me down as title contenders. I wanted to prove them wrong. I like doing that.”

And Scott also used that motivation to literally the final seconds of his bronze medal match against Japan’s Kenichi Kumoto.

Trailing 1-0 in the deciding third period, Scott went low on a double and scored with 15 seconds to tie the match after a couple other shots. Then with Yumoto working to create action as time ticked off the clock, Scott put him to his back in the final five seconds, winning 3-1 after the exposure points.

With three seconds to go, Scott —who lost the first period 1-0 and won the second frame, 3-0 — looked at the clock and starting slapping the mat as the Cowboy knew the bronze was his.

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Bryan’s Blog: Scott’s performance was similar to another “surprise” medalist Jamill Kelly

When Coleman Scott looked up to the clock in the third and deciding period of his bronze-medal bout against Japan’s Kenichi Yumoto, he saw a scoreboard that read 1-1. But between him and the board was his Chinese opponent scrambling to get off his back after Scott forced him there for an exclamation point on his Olympic bronze medal.

Bryan Van Kley

Scott then quickly glanced over at the corner and saw a smiling coach and friend in John Smith. The Oklahoma State headman was awfully proud of his pupil for taking home a medal; the only one on an up-and-down day for the U.S. team.

Scott, who had been a perennial bridesmaid in regards to making the U.S. national team, had made the team the hard way this spring and now had an Olympic medal to show for it. When Smith was asked how a guy like Scott made so much improvement in such a short time, he simply said Coleman’s a guy who rises to the occasion when he needs it most. He’s always been that way.

Translate that into layman’s terms. It’s called “Cowboyed up.” After looking over at the Smith starting to celebrate, Scott pounded the mat several times even before the final buzzer sounded.

Then after time was called, he threw his hands in the air looking at Smith, as if to say “we did it.” He then fell backwards to the mat as the boisterous Excel London crowd cheered him on just as much as if it had been the gold-medal match.

Scott would later say he was wrestling with a chip on his shoulder. A lot of people had considered him a long shot to medal. Odds-makers in London had his odds at 50-to-1 to win gold. The former NCAA champ said it flat-out made him angry that Americans wouldn’t view him as a potential finalist. He expected to be there.

That’s why the American wrestling community really needs to view Scott’s win as a team effort from Stillwater. Scott showed just how good of coach John Smith really is, again. Remember Jamill Kelly coming out of nowhere in 2008 to win Olympic silver? I guess after you’ve reeled off six World/Olympic titles in a row, you know a thing or two about getting ready for a big match and peeking at the right time.

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