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Ex-Olympian severs spine

on June 10, 2014 10:15 AM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken severed her spinal cord in an all-terrain vehicle accident over the weekend, and she told emergency workers she could not move her toes or feel anything touching her legs.

The 41-year-old swimmer, who goes by her married name Amy Van Dyken Rouen, was injured Friday. She was airlifted to a hospital and had surgery to stabilize her spine.

Hospital spokeswoman Alice Giedraitis didn’t provide details on Rouen’s injuries. She said the swimmer was in good condition.

A letter from the Van Dyken and Rouen families said she severed her spinal cord at the T11 vertebrae and that the broken vertebrae came within millimeters of rupturing her aorta.

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