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Olympic Swimmer Makes Replica Gold Medal for Fallen Rival

Daniel Gyurta
Mike Hewitt, Getty Images

When Hungarian swimmer Daniel Gyurta won the gold medal in the 200m breaststroke during the London Olympics it just didn’t feel right.

That’s because rival and good friend Dale Oen wasn’t there to compete against him.

Oen, who had won the 100m breaststroke world championship less than a year earlier, sadly died of a heart attack while training for the Olympics in May.

The 26-year-old Norwegian had suffered from undiagnosed atherosclerotic coronary artery disease — which is extremely rare in a young, active person. He would have been the favorite in the 100m and 200m breast stroke if he had made it to the Olympics.

When South African Cameron van der Burgh won the 100m earlier last week he dedicated his swim to Oen. And then when Gyurta took the 200m he went even further, promising to make a replica of his gold medal and send it to Oen’s family.

“I’m sure that he would have won the 100 here in London,” Gyurta explained. “This is the least I can do to pay respect to my friend.”

The Olympic spirit is strong in this one.

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