As crazy as it seems, Kendrick Farris has already done the easy part. He's qualified — again — to be a United States Olympian and will compete in the 85 kg weightlifting competition on Aug. 3 at ExCeL in London.
The Shreveporter was a lone soldier in his journey to Beijing for the 2008 Games; his family forced to be glued to an internet feed of the competition. As the London Games approach, Farris truly is alone — at least currently. He's the only American male weightlifter qualified for the Games.
However, Farris is on a mission to capture a medal and he wants his loved ones to witness the historic feat.
No. 1 on his list, his mother, Monica Lockett.
"Words can't explain the feeling I get when I hear my mom's voice at a competition," Farris said. "All I can tell you is that it gives me extra power to do what I do."
Obviously, flights across the Atlantic Ocean aren't cheap, especially in a time crunch. That's why Farris' family has humbly asked locals to make its dream come true. An account has been created at Gibsland Bank and Trust for Farris' effort.
The family is looking for monetary donations or frequent flyer miles.
Today, the Buffalo Wild Wings on Youree Drive in Shreveport will host "a great cause and some great food." Patrons can put 20 percent of their bill toward Farris' fund.
In addition to his mother, Farris is looking to send his son, Khalil, two sisters (Yasheka Lockett and Yashala Farris) a brother (Kelbis Farris) and nephew Antavion Lockett to London. Travel costs for the family are expected to reach $10,000.
There aren't many options left for this community to support in terms of big-time athletics, but Farris has been a consummate representative of his hometown on an international stage for nearly a decade. And, now, he needs our help.
Connect with Roy Lang III on Twitter @RoyLangIII.