The swimming world is in mourning following the sudden passing of world 100m breaststroke champion Alexander Dale Oen at a training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Alexander was Norway’s’ first ever Olympic medallist in the pool, taking silver in Beijing over the 100m breaststroke, and would have been one of the favourites for the Olympic crown in London, following his dominant victory in Shanghai last year. While Ryan Lochte may have been the first man to break a world record since the return to textile, it was Alexander a few days before who showed us it could be possible. His 58.71 winning time was just a fingernail shy of the suited mark and remains one of the greatest swims ever seen in the event.
While I didn’t have the privilege of meeting him, it is clear that he was a man held in the highest regard by all in the swimming world who knew him, from coaches and media to team-mates and indeed rivals.
My sincere condolences go out to Alexander’s family, his team-mates and coaches.