Buchanan honors local Olympian Hannah Roberts with downtown mural

NOW: Buchanan honors local Olympian Hannah Roberts with downtown mural


BUCHANAN, Mich. – A new mural was unveiled downtown, honoring hometown hero Hannah Roberts, who, at just twenty years old, competed in the Tokyo Olympics last Summer. And it seemed like the whole city was watching.

“We had a watch party across the street at the Buchanan Common,” said Michael Rowland, President of the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation. “We had over two-thousand people. In fact, the Olympic Committee told us it was the largest watch party that they had ever actually come across.”

When Roberts took home the silver medal, city leaders knew they needed to do something special.

Did you ever think you’d be on a mural, like right here in downtown Buchanan? I asked.

“No, I mean, I definitely didn’t,” said Roberts. “The city reached out to my parents earlier this year and threw out the idea, and obviously it’s a huge honor, I wouldn’t have said no. It’s super sick.”

A full wall mural, honoring not only her win at the Olympics, but also the fact that she landed a 360 tail whip—the first time successfully performed by a woman in any competition—a moment now immortalized on the wall of the Buchanan Honor Credit Union, facing Red Bud Trail, one of the key arteries leading into the downtown area, which city leaders know will be seen by countless people as the years go on.

“We’re very proud of Hannah and all the accomplishments she’s had,” said Rowland. “Our town has always shown a lot of support for her, and not only is this an opportunity for us to support Hannah, but it’s also an opportunity to show young people in our community that if you work hard, and go after your dreams, you can achieve them.”

Though for Roberts, she’s just honored by the city’s choice to celebrate her.

“Seeing it in person is breathtaking,” she said. “It’s so cool, and I’m very thankful the city wanted to do something like that. It’s awesome.”

Roberts is now getting ready for the next Summer Olympics in Paris; next month, she’ll be heading to Abu Dhabi for the qualifiers.

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