Olympic Gold Medallist Tracks Down Volunteer Who Helped Him
The power of kindness is unparalleled. Proving this to the world is Olympic champion Hansle Parchment. The Jamaican athlete won the gold medal in the men’s 110-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. However, he almost did not even make it to the venue of the race due to a mixup with buses, Mr Parchment said in a video shared earlier this week. It so happened that the gold medallist boarded the wrong bus on the day the semi-final was scheduled. Due to this, Mr Parchment, who was engrossed listening to music, accidentally travelled to an aquatics arena instead of Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.
“I accidentally went on the wrong bus to the wrong venue, I had music in my ears and I wasn’t hearing anything the people loading the bus were saying,” Mr Parchment explained in the video that has recorded over 10,00,000 views since it was uploaded.
Upon realising he had boarded the wrong bus, one of the options was taking a bus ride to the correct venue. “If I had done that, I wouldn’t get there in time to even warm up,” Mr Parchment explained.
However, help came in the form of a stranger who gave the 31-year-old some money so he could take a taxi to the venue and reach on time. “I saw this volunteer and I had to beg… and she actually gave me some money to take one of the taxis. And that’s how I was able to get to the warm-up track at the stadium and with enough time to warm up to compete.”
And like a true champion, Mr Parchment did not forget the woman who helped him. Tracking down the woman, who has now been identified as Trijana Stojkovic, he said, “Remember me? I want to repay you and show you something,”
Pulling out the gold medal from his bag, he added “You were instrumental in me getting to the finals that day.” To this, Ms Stojkovic replied, “Really? Really? You won this?” “Just because you helped me,” he added, acknowledging her request for a photo.
Handing over the money he borrowed, he also gifted her with a T-shirt. Sharing the video, Mr Parchment wrote, “Reminder to be grateful always… The Japanese people are the sweetest ever. Thank you my friend,” tagging Ms Stojkovic.
Reacting to the video, eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt replied with a bunch of thank you, gold medal and high-five emojis.
One user with the handle “Awkwardly awesome” said, “God is faithful Hansle. I admire you not only because of your talent but because of your humility. Never change!”
Another user, Libra DKM, wrote, “This pulled at my heart! What a moment. It is moments like these that make the games what it is! Truly a moment she’ll treasure forever.”
Ms Stojkovic also shared a photo wearing the T-shirt she was gifted. Along with it, she wrote, “I’m full of gratitude to everyone… This is a gift from dear Hansle. Perfect fit.Thank you so much dear Hansle!”
Reacting to Mr Parchment, Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, shared the video on Twitter. Mr Holness wrote: “Every Jamaican knows that gratitude is a must. Hansle Parchment demonstrates that perfectly here.”
Hansle Parchment won the gold medal by beating United States of America’s Grant Holloway by one-twentieth of a second.