By JOHN MARSHALL
2014-06-10 03:01 AM
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (AP) -- Six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken was airlifted to a hospital over the weekend after an accident on an all-terrain vehicle left her with no feeling in her feet or legs.
The 46-year-old swimmer, who goes by her married name Van Dyken Rouen, was injured Friday evening, according to a Show Low Police Department report. The ATV was driving hit a curb in a restaurant parking lot and sent her flying over a drop-off between 1.5 to 2 meters.
Rouen was found lying on the ground next to the ATV and told EMS personnel she could not move her toes or feel anything touching her legs, the report said. She was strapped to a backboard and airlifted to Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman did not immediately return calls for an update on her condition.
A witness at the scene said he saw Rouen launch over the curb and found her unresponsive when he arrived on the scene, the report added. Rouen was not wearing a helmet at the time, but apparently did not suffer head trauma.
Her husband, former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen, told police officers he had changed the throttle mechanism on the ATV from a thumb accelerator to a twist accelerator a few days before the accident, though wasn't sure if it was a factor in the accident. He also said Amy had not been drinking alcohol that evening.
Rouen was a huge star at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where she became the first U.S. female athlete to win four gold medals in a single games. She captured the 50-meter freestyle and 100 butterfly and also competed on the winning relay teams in the 400 free and 400 medley.
Four years later at Sydney, she added two more golds in the 400 free and 400 medley relays before retiring from competition.
In 2003, she was among numerous prominent athletes who testified before a grand jury investigating the BALCO doping scandal. Rouen never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during her career.
AP Sports Writer Paul Newberry in Atlanta contributed to this story.