The Town of Shelburne has found itself the new home of an Olympic gold medalist, and council members gave them a warm welcome to the community.
During their meeting on Monday (Aug. 23) Shelburne Town Council presented Kadeisha Buchanan, who helped the Canadian women’s soccer team win gold on Aug. 6 at the Tokyo Olympics, with a key to the town and Shelburne’s Community Excellence Award.
Mayor Wade Mills proclaimed Aug. 24, Kadeisha Buchanan Day in the Town of Shelburne, while the Dufferin County Canadian Black Association also awarded her their Black Excellence Award.
The accolades were in recognition of her outstanding athletic achievements.
“I wish I was home to receive these accolades and thank you very much,” said Buchanan, who accepted the recognition from France via Zoom. “My first goal was to buy a house in Shelburne, live there for a couple years, and maybe sell and go someplace else, but I think this town is amazing and I don’t want to sell the house; I want to stay there and make it my hometown.”
“I’m looking forward to spending more time there and getting to know the community, and the people,” she concluded.
Originally from Brampton, Buchanan graduated from Cardinal Leger Secondary School before attending the University of West Virginia, where she became the most decorated player in the school’s soccer history. As a senior, Buchanan became a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year at the University of West Virginia and finished her NCAA career by winning the MAC Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top U.S college soccer player.
Buchanan helped Canada win their second consecutive bronze medal, in 2016 at the Rio Olympics, and went on to sign with the Olympique Lyonnais in 2017. Since going to France, Buchanan has won four French league titles with Lyons and four in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
During the meeting, Buchanan shared her gold medal with council, jokingly noting how heavy it is.
“It’s an honour to see you here and what you represent for the Town, albeit briefly, but yet the impact is significant not only for adults but certainly for the young children who are going to pick up the sport and have already picked up the sport,” said Deputy Mayor Steve Anderson. “Thank you for being the role model that you are.”
Buchanan told councillors when she returns to Canada on a more permanent basis, she hopes to help host a soccer camp for local youth.
“It is my sincere hope to see you on the field one day with those young people, inspiring them to realize that they can reach the high goals that you have reached and that Canada can be a premier soccer country,” said Coun. Walter Benotto.
Buchanan has returned to France, to continue her season with the Lyons.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press