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Hotel Apologizes to Olympic Gold Medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen for Calling Her a 'Cripple'

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A hotel in Texas is apologizing after one of its employees called six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen a cripple.

Van Dyken-Rouen uses a wheelchair after an ATV accident in 2014 left her paralyzed from the waist down.

According to an Instagram post on Van Dyken-Rouen’s account, a member of the hotel’s security took issue with having to escort her to her room commenting, “What’s going on here? Escorting the cripples now?”

Van Dyken-Rouen took to Instagram to explain she finds calling someone “a cripple” as offensive.

Her post reads:

Today was brought by security back to my room and a hotel security guy called Bam Bam said “What’s going on here? Escorting the cripples now?!” I’m shaking. I’m sorry my ♿️ buddies also have to deal with this. We need to make that as bad as other slurs. #ComeOn

Van Dyken-Rouen later updated her post to include:

Head of security came and apologized and said Bam Bam said it because he thought I worked there. Ugh. Then said that was no excuse. It’s one person, not the whole hotel.

According to Van Dyken-Rouen’s Twitter, her and her husband also received a phone call from the hotel apologizing for their employee’s actions.  

Since her accident, Van Dyken-Rouen has become a disability advocate. In 2015, she launched Amy’s Army, a nonprofit designed to help provide people with spinal cord injuries the medical equipment they need, but can’t afford. 

Originally published: June 10, 2016
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