Hungary's Dániel Gyurta on his way to Olympic gold in London 2012 | MTI / Tibor Illyés

Hungarian swimmer’s gesture moves Norwegians

August 3, 2012

The Hungarian Olympic champion of the men’s 200-meter breaststroke swimming event of the 2012 London Olympic Games, Dániel Gyurta will send a replica of his Olympic gold the family of his friend, Norway’s world class swimmer Alexander Dale Oen who died of heart attack three months ago.

Gyurta says he will have a copy made of his London 2012 gold medal and send it to the relatives of Alexander Dale Oen as a gesture that not only Norway shares the pain. “We became very good friends this year”, Gyurta told Hungarian journalists, adding that “I’m sure that he would have won the 100-meter breaststroke event here in London. This is the least I can do to pay respect to my friend’.

The General Secretary of the Norwegian Swimming Federation, Bjørn Soleng said “on behalf of the family, I would say that they really appreciate this.”

As the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (VG) reminds, the news of Oen’s tragic death in a training camp in the United States shocked the swimming world on May 1, this year. “Alex's death is a tragedy for everyone, both in the swimming sport and his family. This is just a little thing that I can do to honor my friend,” Gyurta said.

Norwegian Swimming President Per Rune Eknes was also touched by the Hungarian's mindful gesture: “It's great! This is fantastic. Cameron van der Burgh hailed the Alex after his gold in the 100 meter breaststroke, and now, we have this from Gyurta. The world’s best breaststroke swimmers probably form a very tight group. It seems like they have fun together, and Alex was a natural focal point,” he said, recalling that the old saying ‘breaststroke swimmers have more friends than anyone else’ is probably correct.


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