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Wide White: Olympic tragedy hits close to home

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic tragedy hits close to home

This is just sad. This couple lives just a few miles from us.
BEIJING - The murder of the father of a former Olympian at a Beijing landmark cast a sad shadow over the first full day of Olympic competition Saturday, just hours after China's jubilant opening of the Summer Games.

Todd and Barbara Bachman of Lakeville, Minn. — parents of 2004 volleyball Olympian Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman and in-laws of U.S. men's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon — were attacked by a Chinese man while visiting the 13th-century Drum Tower.

The U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed Bachman died from knife wounds and that Barbara Bachman suffered life-threatening injuries. She and their Chinese tour guide, who was also injured in the attack, were being treated in a Beijing hospital.

Elisabeth Bachman was with them at the time of the attack, but uninjured. Her father was chief executive officer for Bachman's, Inc., a home-and-garden center based in Minneapolis.

The assailant, Tang Yongming, 47, leapt to his death from a 130-foot (40-meter) -high balcony on the Drum Tower, just five miles (eight kilometers) from the main Olympics site, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
We watched the women's volleyball game against Japan this morning, which took place just hours after the murder, and I was surprised at how composed the team was able to remain. They had a few rough spots, but overall played a great game and came away with the victory. The tragedy makes me a whole lot more interested in following both them and the men's indoor volleyball teams through the Olympics.

The Star Tribune has more here.

The Pioneer Press has more here.


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