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The Jamaican hurdler Hansle Parchment won gold in the men's 110-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics.
He nearly missed the race after taking the wrong bus, but a volunteer gave him cab money.
Parchment tracked down the woman, Tijana Stojkovic, after his win to thank her and offer gifts.
The Jamaican hurdler Hansle Parchment won gold in a major upset of the reigning world champion - Team USA's Grant Holloway - in the men's 110-meter hurdles final at the Tokyo Olympics.
But for a moment, it appeared as though Parchment might not even make it to the race in time.
The 31-year-old speedster found himself at an aquatics center rather than a track shortly before his event was set to begin. He had accidentally taken the wrong bus on the day of the final.
After seeking help from Olympics officials and learning that his only option was to head back to the Olympic Village and take another bus to the correct venue, according to the Jamaican publication The Gleaner, Parchment looked poised to arrive at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium without time to warm up for the biggest race of his life.
That's when a stranger stepped up to become Parchment's hero.
Despite the strict regulations preventing her from doing much to help, the 25-year-old Olympics volunteer Tijana Stojkovic gave Parchment money to take a taxi directly to the stadium, the 6-foot-5 star said. Thanks to her assistance, Parchment arrived at the correct venue with adequate time to prepare for the event.
And after he won gold, he retraced his steps to find Stojkovic and thanked her for her help. Two days after the race, Parchment posted a video to Twitter - which was later reshared by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness - that shows him finding her at a bus stop, expressing his gratitude to her, and saying she was "instrumental in getting me to the final that day" before handing her his gold medal.
"That's just because you helped me," Parchment said.
He then gifted her with a yellow Team Jamaica shirt and paid her back for the cab fare. The pair then posed for a photo together.
-Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) August 7, 2021
After the clip - and Parchment's story - gained traction on social media, the Jamaican government invited Stojkovic to their country in another display of appreciation for her kindness, according to The Gleaner. It remains unclear whether she has accepted their offer. Still, Stojkovic has already posted about her surreal interaction with Parchment through her social-media accounts - even wearing the T-shirt he gave her:
It appears as though Parchment has already gotten back to work on the track, but we'll have to wait and see whether the gold medalist reunites with Stojkovic in his home country.
Read the original article on Insider