Update: Van Dyken ‘Severs Spine’ in ATV Accident, According to Family

In an updated to a story reported earlier, the family of Amy Van Dyken-Rouen has released a letter giving more details on the ATV crash in Arizona over the weekend that has left Van Dyken in an Intensive Care Unit.

According to the Associated Press, the letter says that Van Dyken “severed her spine” on Friday while riding an ATV in Arizona at the T11 vertebrae. The vertebrae came “within millimeters” of rupturing her aorta.

Her husband, Tom Rouen, said that she had not been drinking that evening when her ATV hit a curb in a restaurant parking lot and launched her into the air.

The AP didn’t specify whether the spinal cord was partially or completely severed.

Our earlier story:

American Olympian Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is in the hospital after an ATV accident over the weekend. She was injured while visiting with family in Show Low, Arizona. A relative posted on his Facebook account that she was air-lifted to the Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, and is now in the intensive care unit.

It is not clear how severe her injuries are at this point, but she appears to be in good spirits. On Sunday, she posted two photos to her Instagram account; one of family visiting her in the hospital and another of a drawing that her niece and nephew made for her. 

On her Instagram photo, she commented, “Never get us all together anymore. This is amazing. I have the best family.”

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is a 6-time Olympic gold medalist, winning four in Atlanta in 1996 and 2 more in Sydney in 2000. She is now married to former Denver Bronco, Tom Rouen.


USA Swimming has released a statement regarding sympathy for Van Dyken’s accident.

“The USA Swimming family is devastated to learn of Amy Van Dyken’s unfortunate accident this weekend,” the statement said. “We’re happy to hear that she escaped and is now in great care. That she is already ‘acting like her typical spunky, boisterous, ebullient self’ shows she’s on a great path.

“Amy is a champion who has proven throughout her life that she is a fighter who takes on challenges and comes out on top. We know Amy will tackle her rehabilitation with vigor and be back on her feet sooner rather than later.”

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Kevin T
6 years ago

Oh, this is very bad news I am so sorry to hear about this. I love ATV’s and they are so much fun. It is a shame that this happened. I truly hope that she is not injured permanently. My thoughts are with her and her family.

6 years ago

Best wishes to Amy.
Atv’s are very dangerous. Prior to 2014 I knew someone killed in an ATV accident for 3 straight years. Be careful everyone, especially younger riders!

6 years ago

My thoughts and prayers are with Amy and her family.
Get well!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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