Alexander Dale Oen

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The Independent Online

Alexander Dale Oen, who died on Monday of a suspected heart attack in Arizona at the age of 26, was a swimmer who became a national hero last year when he won the 100 metres breaststroke at the world championships in Shanghai days after Norway had been rocked by the massacre of 77 people by Anders Behring Breivik. One of his country's best hopes for a medal at this year's Olympics, Dale Oen was attending an altitude training camp when he died.

Dale Oen struggled with his emotions in the aftermath of the massacre, touching the Norwegian flag on his swimming cap every time he entered the pool deck. Three days later, he swam to victory and dedicated his triumph to the Norwegian people.