Nineteen months after a spine-shattering ATV accident left her paralyzed from the waist down, former world record holder Amy Van Dyken says that she will attend the U.S. Olympic Trials this summer in Omaha, according to the Arizona Republic.
Van Dyken, now Van Dyken-Rouhen, has become a spokesperson for spinal cord injury research in the time since the accident, traveling the country and speaking at engagements including the Colorado BioScience Association awards dinner. She also founded the Amy Van Dyken Foundation, which is dedicated to providing medical equipment to people with spinal cord injuries (for more information and to donate, look here).
Van Dyken has recorded her recovery via Instagram, posting videos of her progress in the time since the accident. According to an interview with Jeff Pearlman she is now able to walk with braces, and 50 steps takes her around 30 minutes.
At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Van Dyken became the first American female athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympic competition when she took the gold in the 50 free, 100 free, 400 free relay, and 400 medley relay. In 2000, she came back to take two more golds in the 400 relays.