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Hurdler Who Won Gold Thanks Volunteer Who Got Him to the Race

Hansle Parchment almost missed his chance at Olympic medal after he went to wrong venue
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2021 8:54 AM CDT
Good Samaritan Got Him to His Race. He Won Gold
Gold medalist Hansle Parchment of Jamaica poses during the medal ceremony for the men's 110-meter hurdles at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

(Newser) – If your mother always told you give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, or to your Olympic 110-meter hurdling competition, we hope you've listened. Hansle Parchment will likely leave the house way early from now on, after the Jamaican hurdler almost missed his chance to compete in the 110-meter finals in Tokyo—an event that ended up earning him the gold. Per the Guardian, Parchment got on the wrong bus on Thursday and found himself at the aquatics venue, not the track and field venue where he was set to compete. To take an official Tokyo 2020 car, one had to book the car beforehand, and Parchment says organizers were "very strict" about that rule. That means he would've had to have hopped on a bus back the Olympic Village, then found the correct bus to take him to his race venue, without any guarantee he'd make it in time.

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At the very least, "I wouldn't get there in time to even warm up," the 31-year-old Olympian says. "I had to find another way." And so Parchment approached a volunteer, known only as "Tiana"—the Washington Post has since identified her as Trijana Stojkovic—and begged her for money for a taxi, which she gave him. He made his race and took the top prize. Later, Parchment tracked Stojkovic down, posting a video on Saturday on Instagram of him returning to the spot where he'd met her, paying her back for the cab and giving her a yellow Jamaican Olympic tee. He also showed her his gold medal and told her she was "instrumental" to his win. "Really? You got this?!" she exclaimed. Stojkovic may have an even bigger token of appreciation coming her way: Jamaica's tourism minister has invited her to visit the Caribbean island. "It is selfless what she did," Edmund Bartlett tells the Sunday Gleaner. "We want to reciprocate the kindness shown to one of our own." (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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