|Alexander Dale Oen's brother, Robin, with Daniel Gyurta. Robin holding the prize for Role Model of the Year, given to Alexander posthumously.|
Hungarian Olympic breaststroke-champion Daniel Gyurta promised after winning in London to give the family of deceased competitor and friend Alexander Dale Oen a replica of his Gold medal.
On Saturday Gyurta put action behind his words as he presented the family of Dale Oen with a Gold medal. As the IOC do not allow the medals to be replicated the medal was created especially for this event. The symbolic gesture of the event being more important than the medal itself.
The presentation was done at the Norwegian Sport Awards Gala, an annual event held in Hamar every year.
He presented the medal to Alexander's brother, Robin, also a former Norwegian record holder in the pool.
This is what Gyurta said:
"I wish all guests and athletes a warm welcome. Special regards to the family of Alexander Dale Oen. It is a great honour for me to be present here at this great event.
As I promised at the London-Olympics I will present a medal to the family of my friend Alex.
I am convinced that Alex would have won gold at the Olympics so this medal is representative of what he could not achieve because of the tragic event. With Alex’ death Norway didn’t only lose a great swimmer and athlete but a fantastic human being.
I talked a lot with Alex. We often watched final sessions together and we liked each other a lot. Due to the international rules that you are not allowed making replicas of an Olympic Gold Medal, and my application for doing so was denied, I present an artistic medal that is made especially for this occasion, and that symbolize my respect for Alexander."
"He's a good friend of the family. We are forever grateful that he is thinking of us. It's a fantastic gesture to honor Alex in this way" said Robin Dale Oen after the presentation.
It was a fruitful night for Norwegian swimming. Alexander Dale Oen was honoured posthumously as Role Model of the Year, while Head of the National Team, Petter Løvberg was presented the award as Coach of the Year after several years of being nominated. Paralympic double champion Sarah Louise Rung was given the prize as the best handicapped athlete.
Daniel Gyurta will, as Speed Endurance has written before, compete at the Bergen Swim Festival - Alexander Dale Oen Memorial in April - also in memory of the Norwegian swimmer.