Six-time Olympic champion swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen was released from a Colorado hospital Thursday, a little over two months after she was paralyzed below the waist and severed her spine in an ATV accident.
“1,000 times better,” she told reporters in Englewood, Colo. “When I first came in, if you remember, I was on a stretcher, didn’t really know how to use a wheelchair. Now I am the wheelie queen. I can go up a ramp, down a ramp in a wheelie. I can wheelie everywhere. It’s my favorite thing to do.”
Van Dyken-Rouen, 41, said she felt sporadic movement below her belly button in an interview with TODAY’s Matt Lauer aired June 27, giving her some hope she may regain some feelings in her legs one day.
She said the toughest time of her recovery so far was the first time she went into the swimming pool, when she was told she had to do therapy in the water instead of swim laps.
“It’s been a lot of work, absolutely,” she said Thursday. “It’s been a lot of smiles, and a lot of laughs and a lot of ‘woo-hoos,’ and a lot of singing. There’s been a lot of tears shed, for sure. This is not easy. And I don’t want to portray the fact that because I have a smile on my face that it really is easy. It’s really not. It’s really life-changing.”
Jason Lezak on life in retirement
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The world’s best known Olympic historian says it will take something more destructive than the Zika virus to cancel the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
David Wallechinsky tells The Associated Press that “the only time the Games have been cancelled is in war — World War I and World War II. Other than that, nothing has done it.”
Wallechinsky says “it’s pretty late to move the Games, so I’m sure they’ll go forward” and open Aug. 5.
Brazil is the epicenter of the rapidly spreading mosquito-borne Zika epidemic, which is also generating rumors that South America’s first Games may be called off.
Brazil’s sports minister says that canceling the Games “is not in discussion,” and Rio organizers and the IOC have repeatedly shot down the notion it’s even being considered.
“Race,” a film about 1936 Olympic legend Jesse Owens‘ triumphs in the face of Nazi Germany, hits theaters Feb. 19.
In the above clip, Owens competes in long jump qualifying after receiving a tip from fellow jumper German Luz Long to avoid fouling on his last attempt to advance to the final.
Owens would then beat Long in the final, though the pair forged a friendship.
In other clips, Owens, played by Stephan James, speaks with his Ohio State coach, Larry Snyder, played by Jason Sudeikis. Watch that here.
Also, Owens discusses taking part in the Olympics amid racial prejudice in the U.S. Watch that here.
MORE: James discusses playing Owens in ‘Race’ | VIDEO: ‘Race’ trailer