America had many victories in Beijing, but for the men's volleyball team, these Olympic Games became the ultimate test of character and heart.
Just 12 hours after the spectacular opening ceremonies concluded, tragedy struck head coach Hugh McCutcheon's family. His father-in-law, Todd Bachman, was stabbed to death while sightseeing; his mother-in-law, Barbara, was also critically injured. Coach McCutcheon left the court to care for his wife, Elisabeth, a former Olympian who witnessed the brutal attack.
Team captain Tom Hoff says they first learned about the tragic incident during a team meeting. "That tragedy was felt deepest by the Bachman family, but it also touched both the men's and women's teams at USA volleyball. It touched the whole USOC, the whole U.S. delegation," Tom says. "We did have [a] meeting and said to the guys, 'We don't know a lot, but we know one thing, [which] is that Hugh has put so much of his time and energy and passion in the last four years and he wants us to go out there and play the volleyball that he's trained us to do.' That's what we just focused on."