Teens, parents among victims of crash that killed Kobe Bryant

Teens, parents among victims of crash that killed Kobe Bryant
Sympathizers at a memorial at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for the victims of the helicopter crash that resulted in the deaths of Kobe Bryant and eight others. (AP Photo)
Short Url
Updated 27 January 2020

Teens, parents among victims of crash that killed Kobe Bryant

Teens, parents among victims of crash that killed Kobe Bryant
  • Authorities have not yet officially identified all the victims but family and friends have shared their grief in public announcements or postings on social media
  • Ara Zobayan, a commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor, was flying Bryant’s private chopper when it crashed into a hillside near Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES: A baseball coach, two teenage girls and their parents and the pilot were among the victims of the helicopter crash that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter on Sunday.
Here is what we know so far about the victims.
Authorities have not yet officially identified all the victims but family and friends have shared their grief in public announcements or postings on social media.
Bryant, 41, died in the crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna as they were heading from Orange County, where he lives, to a youth basketball academy — Mamba Academy — northwest of Los Angeles.
John Altobelli, 56, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, died in the crash along with his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa.
The college confirmed their deaths in a statement.
“John meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball,” the college’s athletic director Jason Kehler said in a statement. “He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach. The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none — he treated them like family.”
Christina Mauser, 38, was the assistant coach for Gianni Bryant’s Mamba Academy basketball team.
“I got three small kids and am trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom,” her husband Matt told NBC news.
Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter, lived in Orange County and died in the crash, family and friends said.
“They had to get on the helicopter as a convenience today, they usually drove by car,” Payton’s grandmother Catherine George told NBC.
Ara Zobayan, a commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor, was flying Bryant’s private chopper when it crashed into a hillside near Los Angeles and burst into flames, according to media report and tributes posted online.


Olympic fans from aboard may have health tracked by app

Updated 02 December 2020

Olympic fans from aboard may have health tracked by app

Olympic fans from aboard may have health tracked by app
  • Japan has controlled the virus better than most countries with just over 2,100 deaths attributed to COVID-19
  • But Tokyo has seen record numbers of infections in recent weeks

TOKYO: A mobile app could be among the measures used to track the health of fans from abroad if they are permitted to attend next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
An interim report on contingencies for holding the Tokyo Games was released on Wednesday. It was compiled by the Japanese government, the Tokyo city government and local organizers.
The portion concerning the app was leaked earlier in the day by Japanese newspaper Nikkei. It was met on social media by unhappy replies from Japanese citizens who fear the Olympics could put their health in jeopardy.
Japan, with a population of 125 million, has controlled the virus better than most countries with just over 2,100 deaths attributed to COVID-19. But Tokyo has seen record numbers of infections in recent weeks.
Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the local organizing committee, explained some findings of the report. But he was short on specifics in the online briefing. Some proposals might be discarded as conditions change, and almost everything is subject to revision.
“In general, I think we would like to be able to work out the details by next spring,” he said, suggesting the groundwork had been prepared for many contingencies with the possibility of vaccines and rapid testing on the horizon.
It was in the spring eight months ago when organizers and the International Olympic Committee finally decided to postpone the Olympics after repeatedly saying they would go ahead this year.
Muto hinted again that the Tokyo Olympics may not be much fun. Athletes will compete and then be expected to to go home.
“The basic principle is that the accommodation period in the Athletes Village is supposed to be minimized as much as possible,” Muto said. “We want to be sure that the Athletes Village doesn’t get too dense. And after the games we would like them (athletes) to go back (home) as early as possible.”
He was asked point-blank if the Olympics would have a “celebratory atmosphere.”
“If the games are to be held under the COVID-19 pandemic, I don’t think the Olympics will be as festive as they have been in the past,” he said. “We decided to hold a simplified Olympics. Therefore, as you can see in the planning for the opening ceremony, the Tokyo Olympics will be simplified rather than celebratory.”
Muto was also asked about the cost of the one-year postponement, but said he didn’t know yet. Some Japanese newspapers reported several days ago, citing unnamed sources close to the organizing committee, that the cost of the delay will be about $3 billion.
“We are in the process of the calculation of how much the cost is,” Muto said. “We would like to reach a decision as soon as possible but when it will come — I can’t give you a specific date. But by the end of the year we’d like to make an effort to come up with an answer.”
He was also asked if fans from abroad would be required to be vaccinated.
“This is a scenario we will start to examine once the vaccine is actually available,” he said.