Jamaican hurdler Hansle Parchment’s won the men’s 110-meter hurdles at the Olympic Games—thanks in large part to a stranger’s kindness.
The 31-year-old athlete took the wrong coach on the day of his semi-final, arriving instead at what looked like the aquatics center for rowing rather than a track.
The athlete was listening to music during the trip and didn’t realize they were going in another direction until it was too late.
“I had music in my ears, and I wasn’t hearing anything the people loading the bus were saying, but I saw the sign at the top of that bus stand saying, ‘athletics track,’ so I just went on not even thinking about it and I was on my phone listening to music.
By the time I looked up, I realized, ‘no, this bus is going the wrong way.’” the track and field star said in a video he shared on Instagram.
Hansle knew there was only a short amount of time left before the event starts, so he had to move quickly. He sought the help of Olympic officials, who told him that his only option was to go back to the Olympic Village and ride another bus going to the stadium. However, doing so will leave him no time to prepare.
Hansle also tried to arrange for an Olympics car to take him to his event, but officials wouldn’t allow it because they need to follow strict rules.
Thankfully, an Olympic volunteer named Trijana Stojkovic was there to save the day.
“I saw this volunteer and I had to beg because, of course, she’s not allowed to do much, and she actually gave me some money to take one of the taxis that are affiliated with the whole games and that’s how I was able to get to the warm-up track at the stadium with enough time to warm up to compete,” he said.
Because of her kind act, Hansle made it to the venue and had enough time to warm up for the big race.
Hansle finished second in the semi-final behind USA’s Grant Holloway. But during the final, he beat the champion by one-twentieth of a second and ended up earning the gold medal!
Remembering the kindness he was shown, the speedster boarded the bus that took him to the aquatics center—this time, on purpose—to find Trijana and thank her for her good deed. He recorded every moment on video.
When Hansle arrived at the venue, he approached the 25-year-old and pulled out his gold medal for her to see. He said: “You were instrumental in me getting to the final that day.”
“Really? Really? You got this?” she responded.
Hansle also gifted Trijana with a Jamaican Olympic polo shirt and repaid the money she had given him.
Since sharing his story, Hansle’s video has gone viral. Even Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness reshared the footage, writing: “Every Jamaican knows that gratitude is a must. @ParchmentHansle demonstrates that perfectly here.”
Trijana’s reward for her kindness didn’t stop there. Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, sent her an official invitation to visit the island.
“It is selfless what she did; one would not know what the outcome would have been,” the minister stated. “No matter where in the world she is, we want to reciprocate the kindness shown to one of our own.”
It remains unclear whether Trijana has accepted the generous offer, but she later posted a photo of herself wearing Hansle’s gift on her Instagram.
“I’m full of gratitude to everyone,” she wrote in the caption. “This is a gift from dear Hansle. Perfect fit!”
Watch Hansle and Trijana’s second meeting play out in the video below.