One of the happier stories to come out of the 2016 Rio Olympics is how Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and their teammates responded upon learning of the robbery of a Brazilian man who looked after the French delegation.
Vitor Galvani, a Brazilian volunteer who assisted the French basketball delegation, had his phone stolen by a group of teens outside a bus station in Rio one night. A Yahoo! Sports article relates the way the Olympians, especially Parker, reacted with warmth and kindness to the young man's situation.
Galvani, 23, majored in physical education and works as a club basketball coach in Joinville, Brazil. He made the 12-hour trip to Rio to he serve as a volunteer locker room attendant. To his good fortune, Galvani drew star-studded Team France, each of whose members approached him about the robbery. Parker was the last in line, and the four-time NBA champion offered to replace Galvani's cell phone.
At first, the Brazilian declined, not wanting to distract from France's quarterfinal matchup against Spain. But Parker insisted. Not only did the Spurs star provide Galvani with a new phone, he delivered a bag full of Olympic swag, including Beats By Dre headphones and Lacoste sunglasses. When Galvani joked he'd be robbed again, Parker arranged for a car and security to ensure he made it home safe.
The original source of the story, from Brazilian news site Globo Esporte, includes a few more details about Galvani's experiences with the players, as well as this quote about Tony:
"He (Tony Parker) is an amazing person. At first, I had trouble speaking with him; he seemed to be reserved. In various situations he would look at me and I couldn't understand what was wrong. Afterward, the physical trainer explained to me that he studies people, to learn if they're interesting, serious, of good character, to gain his respect. The next day, he came over and gave me a bag from the delegation. I thought it was a bunch of uniforms and was already very happy. While I was opening it, he showed me the cell phone -- an Olympic version of the best kind from the Games' sponsor. He also gave me some special headphones, sunglasses, a belt and a bottle. At that point, I couldn't control myself -- I cried like a baby, hugged him, and could see what type of person he is."
The French team's generosity didn't end there. Boris Diaw (who Galvani had helped get a haircut through the pulling of some strings) also presented the Brazilian with a collection box that players traditionally paid into each time they were late to practice or committed some other faux pas. At first, the Brazilian joked, he was worried he was in trouble and would have to pay into it, as well. But, as Diaw explained, the money was a show of appreciation, as well as a means to cover the expenses the volunteer had paid to make the journey to Rio from his city in the south of the country.
Galvani, a basketball coach in his hometown of Joinville, was even able to take home the team's uniforms to give to his own players, following France's disappointing loss to Spain. He was also treated to a fancy dinner, where he was able to present the players with a letter from his father. It thanked the players for turning a sad event in his son's life into something "beautiful" and said, for his family, they received the "Gold Medal". For a team that came short in his goal on the court, that's not a bad consolation.