Jamaican athlete Hansle Parchment made the nation proud when he became an Olympic champion after winning the gold medal in the 110-metre hurdles on Wednesday (August 4). But had it not been for the kindness of a volunteer who helped him to reach the stadium in time for the semi-finals his Olympic glory would have remained a dream.
On Saturday (August 7), Parchment took to social media to share the heartwarming story of goodwill, and how the kindness of this volunteer in Japan assisted him on his journey towards becoming a champion.
It all started when Parchment revealed that he had taken the wrong bus on Tuesday, (August 3) as he sought to get to the athletics track but instead ended going to the aquatics centre in Tokyo.
“For the semi-finals, I accidentally went on the wrong bus to the wrong venue,” he said. Adding that at the time, he had music in his ears and was not hearing the announcements.
“I saw the sign at the top at that bus stand saying athletics track so I just went on not even thinking about it. I was on my phone listening to the music and by the time I looked up, I realized no this bus is going the wrong way, I’m not familiar with any of this surrounding” he continued.
After reaching the venue he realized that it was a centre for aquatics. He was then informed that for him to get to his correct destination, it would require him going back to the athletes’ village and taking another bus to the stadium. “If I had done that, I wouldn’t have get there in time to even warm up,” he said. He noted that he had to seek alternative ways to get to where he wanted to go but found things a bit difficult.
But while he was there trying to figure out what to do, a young female volunteer assisted him by giving him some money to take one of the licensed taxis. “I saw this volunteer and I had to beg because of course she is not allowed to do much and she actually gave me some money to take one of the taxis that are affiliated with the games,” he shared.
Parchment eventually finished second in his semi-final race, and then went on to win the finals in a time of 13.04 seconds.
Following his exploits on the track, he decided that he would return to the site where he was aided in this most significant way and to show his appreciation for the assistance he had received. After locating the young woman, whom he identified as Kiana, he asked her if she remembered him and proceeded to thank her for her contribution.
“I’m back to repay you and show you something. You were instrumental in me getting to the finals that day,” he said as he handed her his gold medal. “Really, really you won this,” Kiana remarked excitedly to which he affirmed. “That’s just because you helped me to get to the stadium,” Parchment replied.
He also returned the money she gave him to pay his fare and gifted her a Jamaican-themed shirt.
The video, which Parchment shared on his Instagram accounts, has been warming the hearts of his many followers.
Singer Cecile wrote “oh wow…this is so sweet…I’m crying ahh this is such a really beautiful story. Will be told time and time again.”
Athlete Warren Weir wrote, “Big man Wah yah do bawl u want man bawl youth Hansle Parchment. Congrats again bro well deserving. While media personality Yendi’ Phillips described the situation as an amazing one. “Bwoy Hansle …this is absolutely heart warming!!! Amazing,” she wrote.