STOCKHOLM -- Alexander Dale Oen stood on top of a world championship podium less than a year ago, wiping away tears as the Norwegian national anthem played in triumph, just three days after his country was rocked by a massacre by a right-wing extremist.
The swimmer became a symbol of resilience and resurgence in Norway with that victory, the country's first swimming world title at a time when it was in desperate need of something to cheer for.
On Tuesday, Norway was in mourning after Dale Oen died suddenly from cardiac arrest during a pre-Olympic training camp in Flagstaff, Ariz. He was 26.
Dale Oen, one of Norway's biggest medal hopes for the London Olympics, was found collapsed on his bathroom floor late Monday and was pronounced dead shortly afterward at Flagstaff Medical Center, Norwegian swimming federation president Per Rune Eknes confirmed to The Associated Press. He said it was still unclear what led to the cardiac arrest.
:( Our champion, rip. your city of is thinking of you. Such a nice guy, such a big heart.