Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta won gold in the 200m breaststroke in London, but in his mind, only because his friend Alexander Dale Oen wasn’t there.
Dale Oen was a 26-year-old Norwegian swimmer who had won the 100m breaststroke less than one year ago at the world championships. Following that victory he was a favorite to win at least the 100m in London, but perhaps also the 200m race that Gyurta won earlier this week.
But Dale Oen couldn’t be in London, because on May 1st of this year, during a pre-Olympic training session, he had a heart attack and died. It turns out Dale Oen suffered from what’s called atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, a condition that typically effects the elderly or those with “sedentary lives.” Or in Alexander Dale Oen’s case, those with really bad luck.
So in tribute to his friend, Daniel Gyurta is having a duplicate of his gold medal made in honor of Dale Oen. “I’m sure that he would have won the 100 here in London,” Gyurta said. “This is the least I can do to pay respect to my friend.”
The Hungarian swimmer plans to send the duplicate to Dale Oen’s family.