TOLENTINO, Italy, April 19. GLOBAL swimwear brand Arena has announced its partnership with The Dale Oen Experience, a Norwegian initiative launched by Robin Dale Oen -- brother of former Elite Team member Alexander -- to help underprivileged youth.
Alexander Dale Oen won his and Norway's first-ever world title in the 100m breaststroke as an Arena Elite team member at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai. He also won a silver medal in the same event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In April 2012, while preparing for the 2012 London Olympics, he died suddenly and tragically from a previously undetected heart condition.
Prior to his untimely death, outdoor enthusiasts Alexander and his brother Robin had planned on starting an initiative for 8-18 year olds from difficult backgrounds. With the passing of Alexander, Robin went ahead and launched the initiative -- called The Dale Oen Experience -- in 2012, providing short outings and longer expeditions to the fjords and high mountains of Norway, as well as other areas of Scandinavia. The focus of the project is to teach the young participants basic survival skills, showing them that they are capable of things they previously would not have thought possible, and through that develop a greater sense of self-belief.
Alexander will also be remembered this month from 19-21 April at the Bergen Swim Festival, in the city where he started training as a pre-teen. Among the entrants will be his friends, rivals and fellow Elite Team members Cameron Van Den Burgh (South Africa) and Daniel Gyurta (Hungary), along with Arena athlete Katinka Hosszu (Hungary).
More information on The Dale Oen Experience can be found at www.daleoen.com and on the Arena website.
"We are very pleased to be able to support The Dale Oen Experience, and admire Robin for his determination, generosity, and courage in going ahead with this initiative so soon after Alex's passing," said Giuseppe Musciacchio, Arena General Manager for Brand Development. "Alex loved the outdoors, as does Robin, and every year he would take off into the wilderness with friends to enjoy the liberating and educational experience it gave him. Like Alex, Robin is also a swimmer and broke several Norwegian freestyle records, and it is thanks to the sacrifices of their parents that the two of them were able to pursue their swimming careers while also being able to take advantage of the spectacular nature that Norway and Scandinavia offers. Mona and Ingolf also instilled in their sons a humble and principled approach to life, and the benevolent goals of The Dale Oen Experience are testament to their positive upbringing. Like his family and friends, we at Arena also miss Alex, but through this initiative we feel that we are helping Robin to keep his spirit alive."
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