Posted tagged ‘Ron Larsen’

US Men’s Volleyball Takes Home the Gold

August 24, 2008

In what could possibly be the greatest story coming out of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing (sorry Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt), the US Men’s Volleyball team defeated defending champion Brazil today to take home the gold medal.

Associated Press/Andy Wong

Credit: Associated Press/Andy Wong

From the Associated Press:

As the crowd roared and his team exulted in its gold medals, the coach of the U.S. men’s volleyball team buried his head in his hands and walked off the court. He had gone from the lowest low to the highest high, and it was all too much.

Hugh McCutcheon needed to be alone.

Just two weeks ago, at the start of the Olympics, his father-in-law had been stabbed to death in Beijing. He stepped away from his job to take care of his family. But his team, stirred by the tragedy, began an incredible run, ending Sunday with a 3-1 victory over defending champion Brazil — a team that they were never expected to beat.

In two weeks of competition, the Americans were undefeated. The 20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23 final gave the U.S. men their third Olympic gold medal in the sport, matching the record set by the Russians. Top-ranked Brazil, a two-time gold medalist, was left with the silver medal. Russia won the bronze earlier in the day with a three-set victory over Italy.

Usually, the Olympic focus is on the athletes. But the tragedy endured by this coach was an integral part of his team’s story.

This run by Team USA was a;mazing to watch and is just an amazing achievement for a team who was not expected to win gold. Thoughts?