As our long Olympic journey closes, let’s end on a positive note: the US men’s volleyball won the gold medal on Sunday by beating the heavily-favored Brazilians 3-1. Of course, the real story of the match had little to do with bumps, sets and spikes.
The story was US coach Hugh McCutcheon. As most people know by now, his father-in-law was killed and his mother-in-law was seriously injured by a knife-wielding nut job the day of the Opening Ceremonies. He missed the first three games of the tournament, but returned to his team at the urging of his wife after his mother-in-law was well enough to be moved to a US hospital.
While anyone with knowledge of the world realized that the Olympic Games in Beijing would be met with political protests over human rights and Tibet, I’m not sure there were many people who thought the games would get off to such a violent start. We weren’t even a day into the event before U.S. Mens Volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon’s in-laws were attacked by a Chinese man while visiting the Drum Tower.
Barbara Bachman survived the attack, but her husband Todd Bachman did not.
Unfortunately, this heinous act wasn’t the only attack in the first few days, as a New Zealand television commentator was attacked outside of his hotel while returning from dinner.