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LONDON CALLING: The Grant Turner Column
6:10am Saturday 26th May 2012 in Sport
THE London Olympics are not far away now and for me the past month has been a busy one, as I have just returned from a fortnight-long warm weather training camp in Fort Lauderdale.
We have visited Florida on a fair few training camps and over the past few years the team has got to know the owners of the motel we stay at, so it’s almost like a second home.
On the past couple of trips they have taken us out fishing in their boat, but this time a bad storm hit the coast when we had planned to go out, so no award-winning tuna were caught this time.
In general we very lucky with the weather, but a few bad storms did interrupt some training sessions, and when they hit we had to evacuate the outdoor pool due to the threat of lightning.
During one of our afternoon sessions we had just got in the water when the lightning alarm went off. The storm lasted about five hours, so we had to come back at 10pm to finish training and we weren’t finished until gone midnight.
Also while we were in Florida, some very sad news broke in the swimming world.
The 26-year-old Norwegian breaststroke ace Alexander Dale Oen, on a training camp in Arizona at the time, was found unconscious on his bathroom floor after suffering a cardiac arrest.
He was later pronounced dead at the local medical centre.
Just last year Dale Oen was stood on top of the podium listening to his national anthem being played after winning the 100m breaststroke at the World Championships.
I was fortunate enough to meet him three months ago on a trip to Tenerife, and he was a very friendly guy who was more than happy to give advice to the up-and-coming members of his team.
His death certainly puts everything into perspective and demonstrates a need for athletes to have frequent cardiac screenings.
It’s a terrible loss, and my thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.
I’m back in the UK now, but it’s not long before we head abroad again, this time to Canet-en-Roussillon and Monaco to take part in the Mare Nostrum circuit.
The Mare Nostrum is a series of swim meets across Europe and attracts some of the fastest swimmers in the world. It will be great to get race practice in before the final Olympic trials in June.