Saturday, August 9, 2008

An awful tragedy

The first terrible news from these Games has been sounded. The US Olympic Committee released the following statement just a little while ago on this, the first full day of competition in Beijing:

FROM THE USOC: The United States Olympic Committee has learned of an incident that occurred earlier today involving two family members of a coach for the United States Olympic Men’s Indoor Volleyball Team.

While at the Drum Tower in central Beijing, the two family members were stabbed during an attack by what local law enforcement authorities have indicated was a lone assailant. One of the family members was killed and the other seriously injured.

Following the attack, the assailant took his own life.

Our priority in this hour is to attend to the needs of the family members, the U.S. Olympic Men’s Indoor Volleyball Team and Staff, and the entire U.S. Olympic Delegation. In addition, the USOC is working closely with the United States Embassy, United States law enforcement authorities and local law enforcement authorities. The United States Olympic Committee will make additional information available when possible. END OF STATEMENT

UPDATE from the USOC: The man who was killed was Todd Bachman, father-in-law of United States Olympic Men's Indoor Volleyball Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon and father of Coach McCutcheon's wife, 2004 U.S. Olympic Women's Indoor Volleyball player Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon.

Mr. Bachman and his wife Barbara were visiting the Drum Tower in Beijing, China, when they were attacked shortly after noon by an assailant wielding a knife. Their daughter Elisabeth was with them at the time of the attack.

Mr. Bachman, of Lakeville, Minn., died as a result of injuries sustained in the attack. Mrs. Bachman suffered serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital for emergency treatment. Her injuries are serious and life-threatening. Personnel from the U.S. Olympic Committee and the United States Embassy are assisting the Bachman family at the hospital.

Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon was not injured. END OF UPDATE

Without knowing more, this is difficult to comment upon, other than to say I will pray for those involved, and I'm sure many of you will too.

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