The story starts out sounding like a bad dream. Jamaican Hurdler, Hansle Parchment, got on the wrong bus in Tokyo and ended up at an aquatics centre instead of the track and field stadium. Time was ticking and he was in danger of missing the warm up and even the semi-final race.
On the morning of the hurdles semi-finals race, Parchment boarded a bus that said “Track”. He says he was in his zone, with music in his ears and he didn’t realised the bus was going the wrong direction. He ended up at an aquatics centre. “It’s one of them aquatics place. Some kind of rowing or something like that. I wasn’t sure.” Parchement explains in a video he posted on his social media. “They were telling me that I had to come back to the village and then take another bus to the stadium. And if I had done that, I wouldn’t get there in time to even warm up. I had to find another way.” He tried to rent a car but they told him he would have had to book it before hand. He saw a volunteer and he begged her for help. Parchment says that the volunteer wasn’t really allowed to do much but she gave him some money to take a taxi. “I was able to get to the warm-up track at the stadium with enough time to warm up and compete.”
Parchment placed 2nd in his semi-final race and narrowly made it to the finals. In the finals, he took gold by beating United States’ favorite Grant Holloway by one-twentieth of a second.
The now-gold medalist filmed himself as he found the volunteer, whom he calls “The Good Samaritan”, and told her that she was “instrumental” in him winning the gold medal.
Always be kind to each other 🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/j1XvHRta4G
— Hansle Parchment, OLY (@ParchmentHansle) August 7, 2021
In addition to his verbal thanks, he paid her back for the taxi and gave her a Team Jamaica shirt.
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The volunteer, Trijana, has now been invited to Jamaica by the Minister of Tourism. The Gleaner reports Minister Edmund Bartlett saying, “It is selfless what she did; one would not know what the outcome would have been. No matter where in the world she is, we want to reciprocate the kindness shown to one of our own.”