Jamaica's top hotels to host Japanese Olympic volunteer who helped ParchmentThursday, August 19, 2021
Tokyo 2020 Olympics volunteer Tijana Kawashima Stojkovic will literally be treated like royalty when she arrives in Jamaica for a week-long vacation as a guest of the Jamaican Government.
Stojkovic helped 110 metre hurdles champion Hansle Parchment reach the Olympic Stadium in time for his semi-final race after he had taken the wrong bus en route to the venue. She gave him the money for taxi fare along with directions which ensured that Parchment not only placed second in his semi-final heat, but went on to win the final, in the process defeating the howling favourite, the United States' Grant Holloway in one of the biggest upsets of the Games.
Stojkovic was officially invited to the island by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett during a virtual press conference which got underway about 8:00pm Wednesday Jamaica time (10:00am Thursday) Japan time.
The press conference was coordinated by the Jamaican Embassy in Japan where Stojkovic appeared surrounded by embassy staff. She was decked out in the Jamaican Olympic polo shirt that she was gifted by Parchment who sought her out after he won and also repaid the US$90 that she gave him.
The story which Parchment posted on his Instagram page has since gone viral and reported in mainstream media across the world. The Jamaican government is capitalising on the moment.
Bartlett told Stojkovic that her all-expense paid vacation “will demonstrate why Jamaica is the heartbeat of the world”.
“You will be treated to a diamond club bundle of service; presidential suite at the Royalton in Negril and the scenic views and excellent service of the Half Moon and Iberostar hotels in Montego Bay will complete that package,” Bartlett shared.
“The vacation will take you and your guest to Moon Palace in Ocho Rios and you will feel the pulse of Kingston at the AC Marriot Hotel,” the minister added.
And there is more.
Bartlett told the 25-year-old that she will also enjoy full destination experience “that will take you on a journey that showcases the gastronomic delights and a wonderful culture among many, many other things”.
According to Bartlett, the gesture showcases the cooperation between two wonderful countries - Japan and Jamaica. He highlighted that Jamaicans and Japanese have often been brought together through shared love for reggae music, Blue Mountain Coffee, sports and the warmth and hospitality of both countries. The tourism minister said he was looking forward to seeing more Japanese visitors come to Jamaica in the near future.
He had earlier in the press conference told the young volunteer that “In a world that is often inundated by negatives, it is always refreshing when we experience random acts of kindness”.
“At the core of our humanity we have a capacity to share, to be selfless and be kind,” he said while noting that it was her decision to be selfless and to assist a stranger that is the epitome of what is best about humanity.
“That act of kindness reverberated around the globe and reminded us that there's so much more that is right in the world today,” Bartlett declared. He said Stojkovic and Parchment both demonstrated what can be achieved when we work together.
The minister said her act of kindness also represents the best of the hospitality of the Japanese people and all Jamaicans are grateful to her for that. He told the volunteer that she will “forever be etched in the hallowed halls of Jamaica's athletic history because you helped the outcome which led to a gold medal and for our men, the first and only gold medal in the 2020 Olympics”.
Jamaica won a total of nine medals at the Olympics that included four gold, one silver and four bronze.