Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Tragedy and Triumph

Despite all the security precautions China had taken, tragedy struck the Olympics on the first full day of competition. The father-in-law of men's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon was murdered at the Drum Tower, a popular tourist spot, and McCutcheon's mother-in-law was seriously injured; the assailant, a disturbed, knife-wielding man who randomly targeted the victims, then leapt to his death. McCutcheon spent a week tending to his family, his team's quest for a medal suddenly an afterthought. He contemplated flying home, but his wife, ex-Olympic volleyball player Elisabeth, wouldn't let him miss the opportunity he had spent so many years working towards. So McCutcheon returned to lead the U.S. to an improbable gold, its first since 1984. "When I look back at this thing, I'm just going to think, 'Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful,'" McCutcheon said after the final win over Brazil. "And I'm going to mourn the loss of my father-in-law. We can do that. We can be happy and feel a tinge of sadness, as well."