Six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken had reached the top of her game by outswimming the rest of her rivals in both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.
Then, in 2014 came the event that changed her life forever. She was injured in a freak ATV accident that severed her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.
Faced with spending her life in a wheelchair, the former swimming powerhouse was left with the task of rebuilding her life after the tragedy.
Now 46, Amy Van Dyken-Rouen has proven that she still possesses the spirit and drive that launched her to Olympic swimming greatness. She has taken on a new sport and has managed to excel in it, nearly as much as she did in the pool!
TMZ reports, “Amy -- ever the competitor -- decided to get BACK into CrossFit after the accident ... and now she's become one of the premier wheelchair athletes in the world.
“In fact, the 46-year-old entered the 2019 WheelWOD Open in Canada earlier this month -- and CRUSHED IT -- finishing in the top 4 in every event ... coming in 2nd place overall!!”
Amy credits her ability to train from her wheelchair with making all the difference during her recovery. Understandably distraught over the loss of the use of her legs, the Olympic champ needed something to get herself back to a good place, emotionally.
According to Van Dyken, “Learning to do CrossFit from her chair has ‘given me my life back.’
“She trains in Phoenix -- spending 2 to 4 hours in the gym at a time -- and says her competitive fire isn't just relit ... it's burning out of control and she can't wait for the next WheelWOD Open to take that #1 spot.”
Accustomed to bringing home the gold, VanDyken is one athlete determined to rise to the top again - this time in CrossFit.
"Girlfriend doesn't play to get 2nd. Girlfriend plays to WIN. Have you seen my collection of gold medals?!?!! I'm just sayin'"
We can’t wait to watch Amy as she continues in her new arena. We’re certain she will accomplish everything she says she will. She’s got that kind of spirit.