>USA…USA…

24 Aug

>Welcome back to The Sports Ace, where our medal count is always on top.

It was a memorable Olympics in Beijing…so many wonderful performances by so many athletes. But I have to give special recognition in this space to the men’s volleyball team. Of course, the heinous attack on the Bachmans has been well documented in this space and beyond. The emotional rollercoaster that the entire family, including that volleyball team’s head coach, has been on has been incredibly sobering. And then the team goes out and navigates the Olympic tournament undefeated, winning the gold medal with style on the last day of competition. To quote John Popper and Blues Traveler, from the hit song “Runaround,” “Hollywood’s calling for the movie rights…”

In a crazy sort of way, I got real emotional when I saw that team win gold. I know the Bachmans, and I know them to be among the nicest and most philanthropic people I’ve ever known. They’ve had the worst two weeks anyone could imagine going through. Yet, in the end, one of their own has achieved the ultimate prize in their chosen course in life, overcoming all the obstacles along the way. What’s more, Barb is recovering better than doctors envisioned, the family has rebounded, our community and my extended network has rallied and an overwhelming negative of international scale has somehow produced an optimistic ending. I’ve written before that it’s just terrible when bad things happen to great people. Well, that happened in this case, but a very short time later some really great things have happened to the same really great people. What a beautiful yet bittersweet set of circumstances.

I hope to be at Todd Bachman’s funeral this week, and I hope I get to give my support to his family, my friends, in their time of need. But I also hope to meet Hugh, say hello to Wiz and help the family celebrate its amazing triumph over evil; funerals also are celebrations of life, after all. Todd’s life and accomplishments alone certainly are worthy of toasting, and I think the Bachman family has offered us all a poignant lesson (building on all the lessons I learned from Barb, Wiz and the others in my childhood) about what’s possible in life, even when the chips are down. It’s an inspiration and a comfort that I will keep with me for a long time to come.

I’m out like Beijing 2008.

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