Jamaican Olympic hurdles gold medalist Hansle Parchment was struggling to make the finals of his signature event at the Tokyo Games when he took the wrong bus and was in danger of missing the competition altogether. Luckily for him, a local volunteer he calls Tijana stepped up and paid for a taxi to take Parchment to Olympic Stadium where he subsequently won a gold medal.
Parchment shared his story in a video he posted on social media. This resulted in the Olympian meeting the volunteer and thanking her for her help. He showed her the gold medal, gifted her with a Jamaican Olympic shirt, and reimbursed her for the taxi fare she had lent him. The duo posed for a photo, and Parchment told her, “You were instrumental in me getting to the final that day.”
Volunteer Tijana may yet get an even larger reward, as the Sunday Gleaner reported that Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, plans to act as her host on a trip to Jamaica. Bartlett told the Sunday Gleaner, “No matter where in the world she is, we want to reciprocate the kindness shown to one of our own.”
Tijana posted on her Instagram page
“This is a gift from dear Hansle. . Perfect fit!
Thank you so much dear Hansle!
Thank you for the kind thoughts everyone.
I can’t thank you enough.
Your words saved me a lot..
I pray for everyone’s health and happiness
Parchment was afraid he would miss the 110-meter hurdles final when he boarded the wrong coach, ending up at what he believes was an aquatics venue. All the official Tokyo Olympic cars were booked and taking a bus back to the Olympic Village only to then need to take another to the stadium would cause the champion hurdler to struggle to make the start of the final event. If he had taken that route, Parchment said he would not have arrived in time to warm up, so he had to find an alternative way. He tried to get one of the official branded cars to take him, but there were strict rules that required him to book a car beforehand. Then he saw Tijana.
Parchment said that when he saw the volunteer, he begged for her help because she “was not allowed to do much,” but she gave him the money he needed to take a taxi “and that’s how I was able to get to the warm-up in time and had enough time to compete.”
While Parchment took home a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and missed the 2016 Games because of an injury, he succeeded in Tokyo to defeat a high-quality field of competitors and achieve a season’s-best time of 13.04 seconds to take home the gold medal in 2021.