Video courtesy of The Boston Globe

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One day, one tragedy

The U.S. Olympic Committee identified the American killed Saturday in Beijing as Todd Bachman, 62, of Lakeville, Minn., who died after being attacked by an apparently deranged Chinese man who then took his own life.

Bachman was the father-in-law of men’s indoor volleyball head coach Hugh McCutcheon and father of McCutcheon’s wife, 2004 U.S. Olympic women’s indoor volleyball player Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon, who was with with her father when the attack took place. His wife Barbara, also 62, was seriously injured in the attack and taken to a local hospital with life-treatening injuries.

Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon was not injured.

“The United States Olympic Committee is saddened to confirm the death of Todd Bachman,” the committee said in a statement Saturday.

The family was touring Beijing’s Drum Tower in Beijing when they were attacked shortly after noon local time. The Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, identified the attacker as Tang Yongming, 47, from the eastern city of Hangzhou. Yongming killed himself by jumping off a second story balcony after the attack.

The Olympic Committee said that the Bachmans were not wearing apparel that identified them as relatives of members of the U.S. Delegation at the time of the attack.

Bachman is the chairman and CEO of Bachman’s Floral, Home and Garden, a popular store in Minnesota.

“It is impossible to describe the depth of our sadness and shock in this tragic hour,” said U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth in the statement. “Our delegation comes to the Games as a family, and when one member of our family suffers a loss, we all grieve with them. Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences are with the Bachman and McCutcheon families.”

The US men’s volleyball team plays its first game at 10 p.m. today against Venezuela.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

4 Responses

  1. gowtham

    i am sorr that a life has been lost for no reason,but big deal lots of lifes go everyday elsewhere,shall we get on with the games.please.


  2. less

    The Chinese were asked to curb emissions during the Games, and Americans are the worst polluters ever in the entire history of our Earth, hence the cry “Death to America”.

    The deed was was perhaps misguided, somewhat overwrought, maybe, taken a tad too literally, but remains the desperate act of a passionate flower child speaking for the endangered global masses: stop the oil wars, Bushitler.

    For the sake of the future of all mankind the discerning jury must therefore conclude: “not guilty”

  3. L.Yasin

    Thoughts and prayers go out to the Bachman and McCutcheon families. Also for the misguided individual and his family. Keep in mind that the U.S. does it’s best to protect those many foreigners visiting and to remember that when traveling abroad the same courtesies are not extended, nor are the laws the same as in the U.S.
    Please use extreme caution whenever you are strangers in anothers country. These are sad times.


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