Hungarian Daniel Gyurta, the winner of the 200 breaststroke in London, will make a replica copy of his gold medal and give it to the family of Alexander Dale Oen, the world champion breaststroker who died three months before the Summer Olympics because of an undetected heart abnormality.
Dale Oen was to have been the favorite in the 100 breast. He won a silver in the event in Beijing -- Norway's first-ever swimming medal -- and followed it up with a world championships victory in 2011. His sudden death stunned the swimming world.
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"We became very good friends this year," Gyurta told Hungarian reporters. "I'm sure that he would have won the 100 here in London. This is the least I can do to pay respect to my friend."
A Norwegian swimming official, speaking on behalf of Dale Oen's family, said the gesture was appreciated.
Dale Oen was considered the greatest swimmer in Norwegian history and was expected to be a heavy medal favorite in London. He became a national hero after winning the world championship in 2011 and dedicating his swim to the memory of the 77 people killed in a massacre three days earlier.
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The swimmer was also on the mind of other competitors in the breaststroke events at the Olympics. Cameron van der Burgh, the South African who won the 100 breast, said he dedicated his race to the memory of the breaststroker gone too soon.
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