Saturday, August 9, 2008

American killed in Beijing as Olympics begin

The Olympics' opening ceremony was a spectacular show, but the beginning of the games began with the stabbing of two American tourists. One of the victims has died. The attacker jumped to his death in this rare daylight stabbing.

A Chinese man stabbed the in-laws of the U.S. Olympic men's volleyball coach, killing one and injuring the other while they visited the 13th Century Drum Tower, a 130-foot-high landmark. The victims were Todd and Barbara Bachman, parents of former Olympian Elisabeth Bachman, who is married to men's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon. Todd Bachman was killed.

The assailant also stabbed and injured a Chinese tour guide with the Americans. He then committed suicide by throwing himself off the Tower. The killing was a rare instance of violent crime against foreigners in tightly controlled China, which has ramped up security measures even more for the Olympics.

I find it interesting that the media is already calling this a rare daylight stabbing – an “isolated act not directed at Americans.” The embassy went as far as to say “we don’t believe this has anything to do with the Olympics.” Not to be cynical, but what else would it have to do with? American tourists at the Olympics were attacked. Communist leaders may be afraid that any negative press might take the shine off the games – well this certainly won’t help. Murdering tourists at the Olympics will definitely tarnish the games.

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