All eyes in Tully will be on the track at the London Olympics this week to see a local man chase his goals in the five thousand meter run. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells us the small town is also pitching in to help Lopez Lomong accomplish another goal, one for his birth country.
TULLY, N.Y. -- The small town of Tully has a lot to be proud of. Lopez Lomong, one of their own, is running in the Olympics for the second time.
"He used to tell us 'I'm going to run in the Olympics some day,' and we would all say 'yeah sure you are Lopez, yep, you'll run in the Olympics,' and the fact that it came true was incredible," said Tully resident, Katie Haitch.
When Lopez made it to the Beijing Olympic games, Tully residents raised money to send his parents there to watch. Since then, the former Lost Boy of Sudan has started a charity for the people of his birth country, so once again Tully is showing support for their hometown hero.
"I thought it would be neat to make these shirts to show not only our pride, but to support what he's doing for the people of South Sudan," said Haitch.
The shirts are selling fast. They're being picked up by folks near and far who are eager to show their pride for a man who has so much promise.
And those who know this hometown hero say even back in high school, he was a hard worker who had the determination to make it far.
"He's a former student. I had him in english class and he worked unbelievably hard to pass the english regents and to graduate from Tully High School," said Tully High School English teacher, Mary Fenlon.
It's that perseverance that Tully and millions of others who will watch Lopez take the track this week hope will propel him to victory.
Pride of Tully t-shirts are being sold for $15 at Encore Video on Elm Street in Tully.
Lopez Lomong will run in the qualifying round for the 5000 meter race on Wednesday. The finals are scheduled for Saturday.
To learn more about Lomong and his charity, 4 South Sudan visit www.lopezlomong.com. .