Todd Bachman, father of former UCLA All-American and 2004 volleyball Olympian Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman McCutcheon, was killed in Beijing by a 47-year-old, knife-wielding Chinese assailant, who later committed suicide by leaping 130 feet from a balcony on the 13th-century Drum Tower, located 5 miles from the Beijing Olympic Games site.
Todd was the fourth-generation Bachman to head the family-run business, which has supplied the White House with Poinsettias each Christmas since 1984.
During one of the proudest moments of his life as an American, Todd anticipated to witness Olympic history. The 62-year-old chairman and chief executive officer of Bachman’s, Inc. from Lakeville, Minnesota was the grand master ruler against which all horticulturalists are measured. Elisabeth, who is retired from volleyball competition, could rely on her father/confidant when she needed advice. Barbara, his 62-year-old wife and fellow graduate of University of Minnesota, would enjoy growing flowers with him. The Bachmans thought that the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing, People’s Republic of China — which Olympic slogan is “One World, One Dream” — would prove to be one of the most peaceful and scandal-free Olympics in history.
Sadly, it hasn’t worked out that way. Although Elisabeth was uninjured during the attack, Barbara suffered life-threatening injuries and is recovering in ICU in a Beijing hospital. Also, the Bachman’s Chinese tour guide was seriously injured.
On the opening day of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Games, Todd’s senseless murder has tarnished Beijing’s spot in history. After the official report of his death, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Beijing Olympic Games organizing committee are taking no chances. The Snow Wolf Commando Unit (SWCU) and the People’s Armed Police Beijing SWAT unit have been ordered to “protect Beijing” against random acts of terror.
After chaos, comes law and order: The host city is now teeming with activity.
Hopefully, the People’s Republic of China’s two finest police units will be able to thwart the next and all other future terrorist plans to disrupt the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Despite the undue criticism of the PRC, many supporters of the Beijing Games think that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) correctly chose Beijing to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
For everything gained, something is lost. For everything lost, something is gained.
Yes, the 62-year-old horticulturalist have died, but his love for his family shall never die. He is survived by his wife Babara and their adult children: Elizabeth Bachman McCutcheon, Sara McGregor and Susan Bachman West. Elisabeth is married to Hugh McCutcheon, the coach of the U.S. Men’s Indoor Volleyball team.
In Todd Bachman’s memory, every concerned American (including this United States Marine) should support coach McCutcheon’s team. The elder Bachman would be proud of his son-in-law’s team if he were alive.