An Accident Paralyzed This Olympic Gold-Medal-Winning Swimmer. But It Didn't Crush Her Spirit.


On June 6, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, a six-time Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer, was in an ATV accident in Show Low, Ariz., severing her spinal chord and paralyzing her from the waist-down.

Since surgery, the 42-year-old has experienced sporadic sensation below her belly button, KUSA reported. She’s now working hard from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo., in hopes of gaining as much strength back in her legs as possible. But her determination to walk again isn’t the only thing that makes her extraordinary — her positive attitude is downright unmatched.

“It’s a setback. That’s all it is,” Van Dyken-Rouen told Today’s Matt Lauer in the interview below. “Then we’re gonna rock ‘n’ roll.”

Watch the entire interview below and follow the swimmer’s recovery on Twitter and Instagram.

“This is a new challenge, and I’m taking it head-on,” Van Dyken-Rouen says matter-of-factly in the clip below. “This is more than just for a gold medal, this is for my life; our life.”

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