By Jiang Sujing
The news that an American couple had been attacked on Beijing's Drum Tower came as a bolt from the blue on August 9 while China was still basking in the glow of the previous day's spectacular opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
A random attack by a middle aged Chinese man wrecked the lives of an American family last Saturday night and cast a shadow over the Olympics. Todd Bachman, 62 year old CEO of horticultural insurance company Hortica, died of his injuries after being attacked while visiting Beijing's Drum Tower. His wife, Barbara, who was also attacked, is in hospital in a stable but serious condition. The attacker committed suicide at the scene.
President Hu Jintao immediately sent his personal condolences and messages of sympathy to the relatives of the victims. Chinese internet users were also quick to express their shock and sadness.
Mr. Bachman was the father-in-law of Hugh McCutcheon, the coach of America's indoor men's volleyball.
A brief statement released by Mr Bachman's company said the couple had been very excited to be attending the Games. Poignantly, they had just sent emails to friends and relatives to say how much they had enjoyed Friday's opening ceremony.
"He was an amazing person and a great friend," said Dale Bachman, who is Bachman's cousin and president of Hortica.
While watching the Olympics, we should not forget the American couple whose Olympic dream was cruelly and tragically cut short.
(China.org.cn, translated by He Shan, August 12, 2008)