Team USA grieves loss as 2016 bid effort continues

August 10, 2008 8:54:28 PM PDT
Police investigating the stabbing death of an American tourist in China say the attacker was upset over family problems.Todd Bachman, the father of a 2004 Olympian, died in the attack. His wife, Barbara, suffered multiple stab wounds. Their attacker killed himself.

Violent crime in China is extremely rare, and punishment for crimes committed against foreigners is more severe than it is for crimes against locals.

Because of the suicide, we will likely never know the motive for the stabbings of Todd and Barbara Bachman, along with their Chinese translator, but it has certainly changed the mood of Team USA.

"All the family has told us that we have to get on with our things, but it's not going to stop the grief," said US Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth.

As the current Games go on, so does the competition between cities bidding for the Olympics in 2016.

One doesn't get to the Olympics without a lot hard work, determination and desire. But for those fortunate enough to make it, the experience is hard to beat.

"It's pretty epic. You start right in downtown and go up to the wall. You do laps around wall. It's pretty monumental," said Christian Vande Velde, a US Cyclist and Lemont native.

Velde endured 95-degree heat and 85 percent humidity during a six and one-half-hour competition.

"Pollution hasn't affected me all that much. I expected worse, in all honesty. It almost feels like a marine layer. The sun is up there?Somewhere! I know, it feels like the moon," Velde told ABC7 Chicago.

A competition of a different kind was taking place across town as Madrid is made its case for hosting the Games in 2016. Members of that country's bid team say their mass transit is so good that Madrid could host a car-free Olympics.

"We want to teach our citizens to use less cars. It's very good for the air, for pollution and for the world," said Madrid 2016 CEO Mercedes Coghen.

For his part Mayor Daley will leave Beijing more convinced, he says, of Chicago's ability to host the world.

"You have to understand what you're getting into. This is not just a weekend," he said.

The Mayor says Chicago is a greener, more global city ready for the international spotlight.

"In prior years, some people wanted to make a bid, but we just weren't there . We just weren't there to be in this position we are today," Daley said.

Chicago's mayor heads home on Tuesday. His bid chairman, Pat Ryan, will remain in China for the full month. After all, there won't be a larger gathering of Olympic decision makers until the decision for the 2016 Games is made in Copenhagen in October 2009.


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