Monty Williams, assistant coach of the USA Men's Basketball team, is mourning.
He lost his wife, Ingrid, Feb. 11, and then resigned from his position with the Oklahoma City Thunder to focus on his five children. His personal and professional lives have been in chaos for six months, and he's clung to his faith, family and Olympic commitment to find balance, he told the Associated Press last week.
Without his wife, Rio is "a little bittersweet," Williams said.
Ingrid died after the car she was driving was struck head-on by another vehicle in Oklahoma City. She had been on her way home "after picking up one of their daughters from her basketball game," the AP reported.
At his wife's funeral, Williams spoke of the value of forgiveness. NBA stars, including Chris Paul, Tim Duncan, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant, attended to share their sympathy with the former head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans.
"We cannot serve the Lord if we don't have a heart of forgiveness. That family didn't wake up wanting to hurt my wife. Life is hard. It is very hard, and that was tough, but we hold no ill will toward the Donaldson family," he said in his eulogy, according to USA Today.
The spirit of forgiveness continued to guide Williams in Rio, where he helped lead the USA Men's Basketball team to an undefeated record in pool play.
"I'm a man who has been forgiven much, and a cornerstone of my faith as a Christian is forgiveness. That doesn't always make it easy, but nonetheless that's what I have to do," Williams told the AP.
The emotion is a crucial part of moving on from tragedy, as the Deseret News reported last year. It helps people find peace when their life is turned upside down and restores the sense of agency that an unexpected death or accident takes away.
"Forgiveness, it turns out, is more about the future than the past," wrote Megan Feldman Bettencourt in her book, "Triumph of the Heart."
Williams' immediate future includes a quarterfinals game against Argentina on Wednesday, as well as a potential trip to Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue, which he had hoped to visit with his wife. He told the AP he's trying to stay positive, even if his Olympic journey turned out much different than he had planned.
"My kids have seen God bring us through a lot of stuff in the last six months, and I'm thankful and sad at the same time. It's kind of hard to describe, but I'm very thankful that my kids are OK," Williams said.
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