BERGEN, Norway, June 3. A newly-opened world-class natatorium in Bergen, Norway, bears the name of the late Alexander Dale Oen, who rose to international swimming prominence there.
The Bergen City Council today approved the bid to name the training and competition facility after Dale Oen, thanks in part to a groundswell of public support to dedicate the building to the swimmer largely responsible for growing the sport in Norway in recent years.
Dale Oen was just 26 years old when he suffered a fatal heart attack on April 30, 2012, while training with the Norwegian national team in Flagstaff, Ariz., in preparation for the Olympics. Dale Oen won the 2011 world championship title in the 100 breast, nearly breaking the world record in the process.
The Alexander Dale Oen Arena, or ADO Arena for short, will feature a 50-meter competition-ready pool with a digital video scoreboard and a depth of 3 meters that can be adjusted for teaching purposes. The diving well will feature 1- and 3-meter springboards and a diving tower. The ADO Arena is part of an expansive campus at Amalie Skram High School on a seven-acre plot.
“The family is very humble and grateful that the arena will be named Alexander Dale Oen Arena,” said Robin Dale Oen, Alex’s older brother. “It’s a nice gesture, especially for us, to have Alex honored in this way. We appreciate it and we hope the arena will be widely used and be an inspiration for all.”
Media reports from Norway do not indicate when the first official competition will be held in the ADO Arena, but it will be open to the public in October.
Special thanks to European correspondent Rokur Jakupsstovu.