Inevitably, news breaks at an Olympics. Even the tragic kind.
In what began as a fairly routine first full day of competition, things at the Main Press Center went from mundane to hectic when it was learned a Chinese man attacked two relatives of a U.S. men’s volleyball coach, killing one and sending the other and a Chinese tour guide to the hospital with serious injuries.
The male victim died from injuries inflicted by the knife-wielding attacker, who then committed suicide by jumping from a second-story balcony at the 13th century Drum Tower.
Reporters who have members of the team’s coaching staff as part of their local coverage areas began calling sources to discover which coach had relatives involved.
That’s another thing about the Olympics. When it comes to sensitive stories such as this, you’re going to learn about as much as the IOC wants to tell you. By 10:42 p.m. local time, the coach’s name still had not been released or reported. There was more guessing inside the MPC than you would find at a sports book during an NFL Sunday.
Finally, at 11 p.m., it was announced the father-in-law of U.S. head coach Hugh McCutcheon was the one killed. McCutcheon’s mother-in-law, Barbara, suffered life-threatening injuries and the coach’s wife, former Olympian Elisabeth Bachman, also was present at the attack but not injured.
The men’s team opens Olympics play on Sunday against Venezuela. No word yet on McCutcheon’s availability for the match.