Dave Denniston, former swimmer and current USA Paralympic swim coach in Colorado Springs, CO at the USOC Olympic training center, has confidence in Amy Van Dyken-Rouen and has been in contact with her family everyday. The video says that Amy is paralyzed.
Denniston was an NCAA Champion for Auburn and narrowly missed qualifying for the US Olympic team. Denniston qualified for the US Olympic team trials in 2000 and 2004. He was injured in a sledding accident in 2005, breaking his back in two spots. As a former swimmer who has suffered a similar injury, Denniston has been a very informative resource for the Van Dyken-Rouen family. Denniston and Van Dyken-Rouen have been friends since high school.
He told the Denver Post about his experiences with his back injury. He is trying to help Amy and her family with any questions or concerns they may have.
“That’s where Amy’s had a little bit of an advantage, a lot of those questions are answered, the what-ifs,” Denniston said. “For me, those unknowns in that new environment, it was hell, the worst I’ve ever been. Everything after that was great. All joking aside, it just got better.”
Amy was motivated to her 6 Olympic medals by fighting through Asthma. Denniston believes that although the challenge is not longer the same, she will be motivated to push through this challenge. As athletic as she is, she will find her niche as a paralympic athlete in whatever sport she tries.
Click here to view the original article from The Denver Post.