Alexander Dale Oen, Norway's world swimming champion, has died suddenly while at a training camp in the US.
Dale Oen, 26, was found collapsed in a shower late Monday after training in Flagstaff, Arizona, the BBC reported, citing Norwegian media.
He died after suffering a cardiac arrest, Norwegian Swimming Federation President Per Rune Eknes told the Associated Press. While emergency services arrived within minutes, medics were unable to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at the Flagstaff Medical Center.
Dale Oen in July 2011 won the gold medal in the 100 meter breaststroke at the Fina World Championships in Shanghai. He won silver at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and was considered a top contender for the upcoming London Games.
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Dale Oen's victory at the world championships in Shanghai last year came just three days after the massacre in Norway by right-wing extremist Anders Breivik.
He dedicated his win to the 77 victims of the massacre, after the race saying that "We need to stay united."
In his last tweet, posted Monday, Dale Oen wrote:
2 days left of our camp up here in Flagstaff,then its back to the most beautiful city in Norway.. #Bergen
— Alexander Dale Oen (@alexdaleoen) April 30, 2012
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said that "a small country has lost a great athlete," the BBC reported.
"We're all in shock," Norway coach Petter Loevberg told the AP. "This is an out-of-the-body experience for the whole team over here. Our thoughts primarily go to his family who have lost Alexander way too early."
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