News

Paralyzed Olympian Amy Van Dyken-Rouen takes inspiring new step in recovery

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen has hit another inspiring milestone in her quest to walk again after being paralyzed in an ATV accident last year.

The former star swimmer posted a video on Instagram Tuesday showing her working with physical therapist Al Biemond as she accomplishes something she had not done since the accident.

"I did something today that got Al a bit emotional,'' she wrote. "We took off the top part of my braces. Using my core, which was mostly paralyzed in my accident, I WALKED!! This is such a huge step in my recovery."

Van Dyken-Rouen does rehabilitation work three days a week and also works out on her own.

Since the accident, she has hit milestones like standing with the help of an exoskeleton and pedaling a bike with her own strength.

She's also felt reflexes in her knees and ankles and returned to the pool, where she once won four gold medals at the 1996 Olympics.

Here it is...I'm WALKING!!! #onestepatatime #itcouldhappen

A post shared by Amy Van Dyken (@amyvandyken) on

Riding a bike un-assisted this is all using my own strength. #werk #amysarmy #gettingstronger

A post shared by Amy Van Dyken (@amyvandyken) on

"One of the words you could use is 'remarkable,''' Barrow, of Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, told TODAY in June, one year after her accident.

"It's been remarkable to have the changes here that we've seen at Barrow. She's made a lot of improvements."

Van Dyken-Rouen has not only been inspiring in her own recovery, she has also worked hard with husband Tom Rouen to help others through her foundation, Amy's Army, which works to improve the lives of people with spinal cord injuries by providing medical equipment not covered by insurance and other services.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

TOP