Amy Van Dyken is a six-time Olympic gold medalist: she swam in the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney games!
At the '96 Summer Games she became the first female American athlete to win 4 gold medals in one Olympic games.
So that makes this all that much more awful… unfortunately, Amy has severed her spinal cord in a terrible ATV accident. The Van Dyken family and Amy's husband, former NFL punter Tom Rouen's family, released a joint statement:
"Her husband was with her at the time of the accident and bravely kept her stable until the helicopter arrived. An amazing team of doctors performed emergency surgery to repair her spine and stabilize her.
Amy's spinal cord was completely severed at the T11 vertebrae, but, miraculously, a broken vertebrae stopped within millimeters of rupturing her aorta, and she did not suffer any head trauma.
Amy awoke within hours of surgery acting like her typical spunky, boisterous, ebullient self and has spent the last 24 hours entertaining her family and her medical staff in the ICU. She has made at least one male nurse blush. Amy's attitude has been overwhelmingly positive and optimistic. She has been far more of a comfort to us than we have been to her."
We're so glad that Amy is doing alright!
She's even been using social media, keeping in good spirits about everything, like:
Her family must be her strength.
The whole awful thing went down when Amy and her hubby were making their way home from dinner and Amy hit a curb with her ATV and fell down an embankment. Must've been so scary!
The family's statement continued:
"Amy has a long, trying road ahead of her, but as anyone who knows her can attest, her unparalleled mental strength and determination will propel her. She is a fighter. Amy has overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles before, winning 6 Olympic gold medals and becoming one of the greatest female athletes of her generation despite battling lifelong chronic asthma. Now this is her new challenge, her new battle. With the unconditional love and support of her friends, family and fans, Amy welcomes the challenges she will face as she opens this new chapter of her life."
That makes so much sense!
If any person was ever built to face adversity and come out on top, it'd definitely be an Olympian!
We hope Amy continues to recover well.
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: accident, amazing, athlete, crazy, doctors, health, injury, medical, olympic, olympics, sad sad, statement, support, surgery, swimming