HPU student athlete heralded as a hero

HPU student athlete heralded as a hero

EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thursday May 22 was an ordinary one for HPU senior student athlete Olivier Rolland.

"We just decided to go to Koko Head and hike it," he recalls.

He and a group of friends scaled the summit.  Not surprisingly, the 6'1" Rolland, a defender on the soccer team, was the first of his group to make it to the top.

After a short respite at the peak, Rolland noticed a hiker in distress.  He and his friends decided to help.

"We kind of tried to help her and we put two people on her side so she could go down, but it was taking too long."

The hiker, Maria Crisostomo, was dehydrated, under duress, and drifting in and out of consciousness.  Rolland decided a more aggressive approach was needed.  He put her on his back, piggy-back style, and started carrying her down with his friends serving as spotters.

One of Rolland's friends tried to do the same, but only made it 50 yards before he was overcome with exhaustion.  Olivier resumed carrying her down.

"Yeah, it was tough.  It was really warm, but she was not too heavy" he said with a chuckle.

Olivier says it took about an hour to get down.  When they made it to the bridge area, HFD teams were able to give aid to Crisostomo and airlift her down.  She was then transported to the hospital as a precaution and is now back in Saipan.

Rolland's deeds didn't go unnoticed.  Crisostomo sent his coach a letter, praising his efforts and calling him a hero—though he doesn't see it that way.

"I don't consider myself a hero.  I did what I had to do".

Thursday, May 22, just another day for Olivier Rolland.

Follow Chris Tanaka:   

Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.