An Olympic gold medalist has tracked down and thanked a Tokyo 2020 volunteer who gave him cab fare to get to the right venue for his race when he was running late.
Jamaican hurdler Hansle Parchment explained what happened in a video on Instagram over the weekend after he won gold in the 110-meter men’s hurdle finals on Thursday.
Parchment said he had taken the wrong bus to the semifinals last week. He’d been listening to music and didn’t realise until it was too late that he’d ended up at an aquatics venue instead of the Olympic Stadium, he said.
“They were telling me that I have to come back to the village and then take another bus back to the stadium. If I had done that, I wouldn’t get there in time to even warm up,” he said.
“I was trying to get one of the branded cars for the Games to take me, but these people are very strict and adhering to the rules, and I would have to book the car from beforehand to get it to leave.”
Then he spotted a volunteer and begged her to help. She did.
“She actually gave me some money to take one of the taxis affiliated with the whole Games, and so I was able to get to the warmup track at the stadium with enough time to warm up to compete,” he said.
In the video, Parchment took a bus to find the woman, named Trijana. He repaid her, showed her his gold medal and gave her a Team Jamaica shirt.
“You were instrumental in me getting to the finals that day,” he said. Trijana later posted a picture of herself wearing her new kit:
According to Jamaican news outlet The Sunday Gleaner, Jamaica’s tourism minister has invited Trijana to the country to thank her for the kindness she showed their Olympian.
“It is selfless what she did; one would not know what the outcome would have been,” Jamaican Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett told the Gleaner.
Parchment won bronze at the London 2012 Olympics but missed the Rio Olympics in 2016 due to an injury.