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Arena shocked and saddened by tragic death of Norwegian breaststroke champion Alexander Dale Oen

Tolentino, 2 May, 2012 – Members of the Arena family were shocked and profoundly saddened to learn today of the tragic death of our friend and great champion Alexander Dale Oen, who passed away on 30th April while at a training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona, in the United States.

The reigning 100m breaststroke world champion has been for the last 6 years one of the most talented swimmers on the swimwear company’s roster, with high prospects for this year’s London Olympics.

But as talented a swimmer as he was, to many at Arena he was first and foremost a friend, one with a warm, welcoming smile, an enduring passion for life, and a set of noble principles – during the high-tech swimsuit era, Alexander remained a swimming purist, wearing only textile suits as polyurethane fever raged around him. He was a rare human being, leaving his mark wherever he went, and his memory will live long in those who had the privilege to know him.

“All of us at Arena are feeling a deep sense of grief and loss today,” said Cristiano Portas, Arena CEO. “Alexander was a shining light for us and for many others in his home country of Norway and around the world. His passing is a tragedy that will stay with us for a long time, but the memory of him as a swimmer and even more so a friend will be stronger, and will far outlast the grief that we feel now. I still have an extremely vivid memory, of a breakfast we had together during his last visit to our headquarters, in which I could personally appreciate his great energy and positive spirit. In this unhappy and difficult time we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Alex’s family and friends, and join with the Norwegian Swimming Federation in their mourning of one their proudest sons.”