Send-off parade held in Oxford for two Olympic athletes competing in Tokyo

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 9:55 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - The town of Oxford, Mississippi celebrated a rare feat Friday.

Two Olympians from the town are competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

The motto of the day in the Oxford Square was “Jump Oxford Jump” as hundreds of people came to celebrate two Olympians who will be representing the small town and jumping at the chance to get a medal in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Oxford residents showed up Friday to support and inspire two Olympians from Oxford High School, Sam Kendricks and Shelby McEwen.

“It’s going to be so unique this year without the crowds there. I’m really excited about watching,” said Randy Weeks who lives in Oxford.

“Just shows everybody that the world is big, but little towns can do big things, said Oxford resident Monica Dawson.

Kendricks, who got a bronze medal in Rio, is competing in pole vaulting. McEwen is going to his first Olympics and is competing in high jump.

Both say they are honored to represent Oxford and they’ll use this amazing showing of support to inspire them before their competitions.

“It feels amazing man, just having this home town environment around me, showing the young people, hey keep the dream alive and anything is possible,” said McEwen.

“I’m going to put my mind’s eye back running around this square with the people I care about watching me. That’s going to be cool,” Kendricks said.

Kendrick’s father and McEwen’s mom were blown away by the support the Oxford community showed Friday.

Totally awesome, just awesome. We are just proud, proud, proud. I can’t say it enough. I’ve been saying it all day,” Sharon McEwen said.

“It’s very, very rare that a small town produces two Olympians at the same Olympiad. So, we’re very fortunate to have these two young men come from our town and we’re very proud of them,” said Scott Kendricks.

Kendricks and McEwen are competing in the qualifying rounds July 29 and July 30 with the for men’s pole vault August 1 and the finals for high jump happens August 3rd.

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