Jul 24, 2012; London, UK; A general view of the Olympic rings logo hanging from the roof of St. Pancras International Train Station 3 days before the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports via USA TODAY Sports

Former Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen severs spine in accident

Former Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is recovering from surgery following an ATV accident that caused her to sever her spine and lose all feeling in her arms and legs. the 41-year old former Olympian was reportedly riding an ATV near a restaurant parking lot when she jumped a curb and flew over a 5 to 7 foot drop off

Rouen’s husband, former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen, told police and reporters that his wife had not been drinking and that a change int he throttle mechanism may have played a factor in her accident. Little is still known about just what caused the ATV to jump the curb and send the 41-year old swimmer flying into the air, but an investigation is underway.

Back in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen became the first female athlete to win four gold medals in a single Games and she added two more gold medals to her career count when she won in 2000 at the Sydney Games.

After the Sydney Olympics in 2000, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen retired from the sport and settled down with her family. She was called upon again in 2003 when doping scandals began to rock sports, especially the Olympics, although she was never tested nor did she fail any tests that jeopardized her six gold medals.

Dyken-Rouen’s family released a statement in which they said the swimmer is recovering and in good spirits and that she hopes to come out of this tragedy stronger than she was before.

[h/t: ESPN]

Tags: Olympics Swimming

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