Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, a six-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, told emergency medical personnel she couldn’t feel her legs or toes after she crashed in an all-terrain vehicle incident in Arizona.
Doctors say Ms. Van Dyken-Rouen, 41, severed her spine but is considered in good condition, The Associated Press reported.
She was tossed over a 5-foot drop-off after her ATV hit a curb, police reported, Bleacher Report said. Her husband, Tom Rouen — a former Denver Broncos punter — said her accident caused her initially to stop breathing.
“She wasn’t breathing. I raised up the back of her neck with my hand, she started gasping for air,” he said, Bleacher Report said.
The Olympian is going to be in intensive care for several days.
Ms. Van Dyken-Rouen in 1996 became the first U.S. female athlete to win four gold medals during a single Olympics. She won two more in 2000.