Daniel Gyurta, the Hungarian swimmer and recent Olympic champion, has revealed that he will not be the only one
taking home a gold medal for the men's 200-meter breaststroke.
Gyurta, who set a new world record to win the event at the London Games last week, has announced that he will be getting a replica of his gold medal made in memory of fallen competitor, Norwegian swimmer Alexander Dale Oen.
Dale Oen died earlier this year from cardiac arrest during a pre-Olympics training session. During the autopsy, it was discovered that the 26-year-old swimmer suffered from heart disease.
Having won the 100m breaststroke at the world championships less than a year before his death, the young Norwegian was one of the favorites to win the 100m and 200m events at the London Olympics.
Story continues after photo.
Gyurta with his gold medal at this year's Olympics.
Gyurta, who was good friends with the late swimmer, said that Oen would've likely been a tough competitor had he been alive to participate in the Games.
"I’m sure that he would have won the 100 here in London," Gyurta said, according to the Guardian. "This is the least I can do to pay respect to my friend."
Gyurta, who clocked 2 minutes, 7.28 seconds to win the 200m breaststroke, said that he will be sending a copy of his medal to Dale Oen's family.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Gyurta's bighearted gesture has received a lot of media attention in Norway, where Oen is considered a national hero. Last year, the late swimmer gained the respect of his countrymen when he dedicated his world championship win to the 77 victims of the Utoya massacre.
Per Rune Eknes, head of Norway’s swimming federation, said he was moved by the 23-year-old Hungarian's act of sportsmanship. “It’s great! This is fantastic,” he said.
Gyurta wasn't the only Olympic athlete to remember the former champion. South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh, who won the 100m breaststroke, dedicated his swim to Dale Oen.
“We’re carrying him with us all the time,” Norweigian swimmer Sara Nordenstam told the Associated Press following her heat in the 400-meter individual medley. “We have our own way of honoring him -- that’s swimming fast and remembering him and remember everything that he taught us and go for the goals that we set together.”
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