Amy Van Dyken-Rouen going home for first time since accident

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen

Six-time Olympic swimming champion Amy Van Dyken-Rouen said she is ready to return to her Arizona home for the first time since a June 6 ATV accident that severed her spine and left her paralyzed.

Van Dyken-Rouen updated her rehab in an interview with Matt Lauer on TODAY on Friday.

She said she still hopes to be able to walk again (Van Dyken-Rouen has taken steps powered by an exoskeleton device). She and husband Tom Rouen, a former NFL punter, have been working with a muscle activation specialist.

“He helped me get back to the Olympics after two shoulder surgeries,” said Van Dyken-Rouen, a 1996 and 2000 Olympian. “Why can’t he get me back up on my feet now?”

The retired swimmer also remembered a challenge from her brother nearly three months ago to enter a marathon.

“That fierce competitor said, well I’ve got to live so I can beat him,” she said.

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