Flight 93 passengers learned from cell phone conversations that the World Trade Center and Pentagon had already been attacked. Bingham – along with Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett, and Jeremy Glick – formulated a game plan of sorts to overtake the hijackers, according to accounts from the phone calls. All four men were athletes.
Bingham stood 6-foot-4, weighed roughly 225 lbs., and played rugby. Beamer was 6-foot-2 and was a former basketball player. Burnett, 6-foot-3, played quarterback in high school and college. And Glick, also 6-foot-3, was a national collegiate judo champ. Hoagland is convinced that their ability to think quickly, coupled with their physical strength, made a difference in stopping the plane from hitting one of its targets.
Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoagland, says this: “Competitive sports and athletic ability really made a difference for America on that day.” That’s one of the reasons Hoagland has become the spiritual force behind the Bingham Cup — a rugby tournament that’s become the “World Cup of gay rugby,” as she describes it. Hoagland feels the sport helped shape her son into the person he became, and she wants others to enjoy the sport as much as Bingham did. The cup started in 2002 with less than 10 teams. Now, 40 to 50 teams participate in the biennial event, which alternates between happening in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Read the whole thing here.
Related: Mark Bingham website.