Alexander Dale Oen, Norway's first swimming world champion and favourite to win gold at this summer's Olympics, was yesterday found dead at a training camp in Arizona aged just 26. He is believed to have died from a cardiac arrest.
Dale Oen had become one of Norway's most prominent sports stars after claiming an emotional gold at last year's World Championships. He won the 100 metres breaststroke in Shanghai three days after Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Norway, and dedicated his gold to the victims. "We need to stay united," he said.
Dale Oen won silver at the Beijing Olympics and had become the man to beat in London. He was discovered on the floor of a bathroom where he was staying with other members of the Norwegian Olympic team. "Norwegian sport has lost a sporting hero," said Borre Rognilen, president of Norway's Olympic council.