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Hometown hero: Hannah Roberts hopes to make Buchanan proud in Tokyo

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:58 PM EDT
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BUCHANAN, Mich. (WNDU) - Like all athletes heading to Tokyo, Hannah Roberts will be heading to her first Olympic Games alone.

But she’s got a ton of support cheering her on stateside.

“I’m really proud,” Hannah’s mom, Betty Roberts said. “She’s been working really hard.”

Betty Roberts is her daughter, Hannah’s, number one fan.

“We didn’t get to see her last year as much as we would’ve liked to just because of quarantine,” Betty Roberts said. “This is going to be an event that’s just crazy. I mean who thought when she was 12-years-old that she’d be going to the Olympics?”

Hannah will be heading to Tokyo this week to be one of the first competitors ever to compete in BMX Freestyle.

She’s spent the last year training in North Carolina through the pandemic and relied heavily on her support system

“Family support behind it is everything.,” Hannah Roberts said. “I mean if you don’t have that kind of support system, it’s not going to work. You could support yourself for so long but then there’s times where even having one other person whether it’s family or someone you look at as family that’s just going to help you grow. Because obviously last year was unpredicted. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get out of it if I didn’t have that support from my family and my friends.”

The Roberts family initially had plans to head to Japan for the games.

“That’s been the mindblower,” Betty Roberts said. “When we found out that there were no spectators, my husband and I actually had plans to be in Tokyo for the whole events from Opening to Closing ceremonies so that itself was definitely a shocker.”

If she makes it to the podium, Hannah obviously would love to have her family there but she’s looking on the bright side.

“Looking at that aspect, there’s times where I wish my family would be able to go and experience that with me,” Hannah Roberts said. “But then at the same time, that means coming home and being able to spend the time home with them would be even sweeter because obviously they’re all going to be watching and everything.”

“We’ll be rooting her on here, and she knows that we’re planning stuff so she’s going out of the country knowing everybody will be here watching her,” Betty Roberts said.

As Hannah gears up to head across the world for the biggest competition of her life, she’s grateful for all of the support she has received over the years.

“This moment is incredible to me and as for Buchanan as a whole they have supported me so much through everything through school and growing up and teaching me a lot,” Hannah Roberts said. “So thank you for the support and it really means a lot. I hope to make everybody proud in Tokyo.”

Hannah leaves for Tokyo on Friday because she won’t be competing for the medal until July 31st.

The Roberts Family will be holding a watch party that Saturday night at the Buchanan Commons starting at 7.

Fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and dress for the weather when they come out to support Hannah.

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