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Freestyle Team Makes A Stop At San Diego Zoo Before Departing For Sydney



Streeter McIlravy didn't look twice. He grabbed a hibiscus flower from his dad Lincoln and made his way toward the red tree kangaroo sitting on a wooden crate. He stretched out his little hand toward the tree kangaroo, which is about the size of a medium-sized dog but with a long tail, as it reached out its large yet dull nails and swiped the pedaled flower from the three-year-old's hand. Such was part of the day in the life of an Olympian, as the Freestyle wrestling team spent time at the San Diego Zoo during a promotion, September 12. Six of the team members, McIlravy, Terry Brands, Charles Burton, Melvin Douglas, Kerry McCoy, and Brandon Slay made the trip to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. McIlravy brought his two sons and wife Lisa along. The team, along with Coaches Greg Strobel, Dan Gable, and John Smith, took promotional photos for media members and did interviews for three local TV stations in San Diego, including a live feed with the NBC affiliate. They were also part of a video news release that was filmed at the Zoo and included taped interviews that were fed later that day to television stations across the country. The team members were treated to a VIP showing of several indigenous animals of Australia, including the Echidna, Laarakeet birds, Kuala, and the only tree kangaroo in captivity that is displayed to humans. As McIlravy pointed out: "That was something different. My kids loved it. I thought it was pretty cool, too. It didn't matter if the media were there or not. It was a nice thing to see." Upon leaving the Zoo after 75 minutes, several of the team were greeted by shouts from patrons of the Park by: "Go U.S.A." "Get them Down Under." And, "Go Wrestling Team." Whereas, Melvin Douglas said: "See, that's what being an Olympian is all about. It's not just for you; it's about your country. Ain't it great?"
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