Ueberroth reacts to Bachman’s death


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BEIJING -- U.S. Olympic Committee President Peter Ueberroth made his first comments about the death of Todd Bachman during an appearance at the USA House on Sunday.

“Our heart, prayers go to the family,’ he said. ‘There’s nothing more devastating. It takes your breath away. It was a random act and shouldn’t be portrayed as anything else.’


He added that the tragedy, in which Bachman and his wife were attacked by a knife-weilding assailant, could have happened in any city in the world.

‘Everybody knows that the Games are going on,’ he said, ‘and I think that all the family has told us that we have to get on with our things, but it’s not going to stop the grief. And the family will be dealing with this for years and, in some cases, forever.

‘I just hope there’s nothing more like it that even comes close to it for the rest of these Games.”

He was asked if he was trying to convey that the incident was unrelated to the Olympics or the fact that the victims were American.

Bachman’s wife, Barbara, remains in critical condition in a Beijing hospital after Saturday’s attack at a popular tourist attraction.

“Obviously, the perpetrator committed suicide, and I don’t know what was in his mind or not,’’ Ueberroth said. ‘’Anybody who would do anything like that is not sane; he’s deranged. So I cannot speculate on what he may or may not have been thinking.”


The Bachmans’ son-in-law, Hugh McCutcheon of Irvine, is the U.S. men’s indoor volleyball coach. One of their daughters, Elisabeth, was with them but was not injured during the attack.

--Kathy Bergen

Bergen is a Chicago Tribune reporter