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Olympic gold medalist tracks down good samaritan who paid for his cab when he got lost and nearly missed his competition

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Aug 13, 2021 9:53 pm

The Olympics churns out emotions of triumph and defeat. At the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Jamaican track and field athlete Hansle Parchment witnessed how an act of kindness did not just allow him to bag the coveted gold medal; it also proved that goodness in humanity can trample adversity.

Parchment won the men’s 110-meter hurdles final but he nearly missed his shot at getting the gold after he rode the wrong bus going to the semi-final competition venue. But thanks to a kind volunteer, he was able to make it to the stadium, with enough time to do his warm up before the competition.

In a video he posted on Instagram, Parchment documented his journey in finding the good samaritan who helped him.

The Olympian said he accidentally hopped on the wrong bus on the day of his competition. He was listening to music as he boarded the bus and did not notice that it was heading to the Sea Forest Waterway, where rowing and canoeing events were held, rather than the stadium.

When he realized that he was in the wrong bus, he tried to get one of the official cars of the Olympics to bring him to the venue but at the time, they were all booked. Since he did not have money with him, his only option was to return to the Olympic Village and ride another bus that’s heading to the tracks, but this route would lose him precious time to warm up and get in the competition.

At this point, he saw an Olympic volunteer named Trijana, who was kind enough to give him money for a cab so he could catch his competition on time.

“I saw this volunteer and I begged, because of course, she is not allowed to do much, 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 in time, and had enough time to compete,” Parchment said.

After detailing his story, he set off on a mission to look for Trijana. He hopped on a bus that took him to the Sea Forest Waterway venue, where he spotted the volunteer at the bus stop where they first met almost immediately.

“You were instrumental in me getting to the finals that day,” Parchment told Trijana as he was pulling out the gold medal to show her. 

Trijana excitedly said, “Really, you got this?” She also asked Parchment for a photo but before obliging her for snap, the Olympian paid her back and gave her a Team Jamaica shirt. Trijana thanked him profusely. 

Parchment captioned his Instagram post: “Reminder to be grateful always… The Japanese people are the sweetest ever. Thank you my friend @d__treefairy.”

Trijana she also posted on Instagram a photo of her wearing the shirt Parchment gave her. “I’m full of gratitude to everyone,” she captioned her post. 

“This is a gift from dear Hansle. Perfect fit. Thank you so much dear Hansle!”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Trijana (@d_treefairy)

The 25-yer-old volunteer did not only get a shirt from the gold medalist, but she was also embraced by the Jamaican people for her kindness. Even Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett was moved by Trijana’s actions that he invited her to Jamaica, where she will be hosted by the ministry, to personally thank her.

“It is selfless what she did; one would not know what the outcome would have been,” Bartlett told The Gleaner.

“No matter where in the world she is, we want to reciprocate the kindness shown to one of our own,” he said.

Banner and thumbnail photos from @parchment_hansle on Instagram