Facts about Amy Van Dyken, the former American competitive swimmer

Facts about Amy Van Dyken, the former American competitive swimmer

Lenah Ann
updated at December 2, 2023 at 7:02 AM

Amy Van Dyken is a former competitive swimmer for the United States and a six-time Olympic gold medallist. She went down in history as the first American female athlete to win four gold medals during the 1996 Summer Olympics. Despite being paralysed from the waist down in an ATV accident in 2014, the Colorado native continues to travel the world, giving motivational speeches and working for charities.

Amy Van Dyken
Amy Van Dyken speaks during the 34th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner To Benefit The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis on 7 October 2019, in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai (Modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Due to her incredible performance and success during her active years, Amy has numerous accolades and honours, including ESPY Female Athlete of the Year and Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. Continue reading to learn more about Amy Van Dyken, the former American competitive swimmer.

Amy Van Dyken's profile summary

Full name

Amy Deloris Van Dyken-Rouen

Date of birth

15 February 1973


50 years of age (as of December 2023)

Place of birth

Englewood, Colorado, the United States of America





Zodiac sign





6 feet or 183 centimetres


163 pounds or 74 kilograms

Hair colour

Dark brown

Eye colour



Don and Becky


Katie and David

Relationship status

In a relationship


Alan McDaniel (married 1995 - 1998), Tom Rouen (married 2001 - present)


Former competitive swimmer


Cherry Creek High School, Colorado State University, The University of Arizona

Net worth

Between $1 million and $5 million

Social media presence

Instagram, X (Twitter)

Amy Van Dyken's biography

Amy Van Dyken (age 50 years as of November 2023) was born on 15 February 1973 in Englewood, Colorado, the United States of America, to Don and Becky Van Dyken. Her zodiac sign is Aquarius.

She was bred alongside her two siblings, Katie and David, and she attended Cherry Creek High School, Colorado State University, and The University of Arizona. She is an American national of a white ethnicity.

Amy Van Dyken's height is 6 feet or 183 centimetres, and her weight is 163 pounds or 74 kilograms. She has dark brown hair and hazel eyes.

Where does Amy Van Dyken live?

Together with her husband Tom, they live in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Keystone, Colorado. Before joining Fox Sports Radio, she worked at a local radio station that aired its programs nationally.

What happened to Amy Van Dyken?
Olympic gold medalist, Amy Van Dyken, enters the stage during the ESPN Summit 2015 at St Regis Monarch Resort on 14 October 2015, in Dana Point, California. Photo: Mpu Dinani
Source: Getty Images

Amy Van Dyken's injury

What happened to Amy Van Dyken? The former swimmer required many surgeries after suffering a shoulder injury during the 2000 countdown to the Sydney Games. She qualified for three events after returning in time for the American trials.

In addition to the injuries, she was involved in a horrible ATV accident that severed her spinal cord at the T11 vertebra. She was rescued and taken to the hospital, where she had an emergency spinal cord and vertebral column stabilisation surgery.

The injury was millimetres away from striking and perhaps rupturing her aorta. Nevertheless, she became paralysed from the waist down.

Is Amy Van Dyken walking?

The renowned swimmer left the hospital after two months of rehabilitation. She assured her fans that she was a better person than before the incident and took her first steps with the help of a walker and an apparent bionic device that assists her legs.

Amy Van Dyken's asthma

Throughout her early life and career, the former Olympic swimmer had chronic asthma. On the recommendation of her doctor, she began swimming to strengthen her lungs to cope with her illness and prevent future asthma episodes.

How much is Amy Van Dyken worth?

Amy Van Dyken's injury
Amy reacts after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before an MLB game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Mets on 7 June 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Christian Petersen
Source: Getty Images

According to CelebsAgeWiki, the famous former swimmer's net worth is estimated to be between $1 million and $5 million. Like most athletes, she made most of her income through her career earnings alongside brand endorsements and sponsorship deals.

Is Amy Van Dyken still married?

As of 2023, Amy Van Dyken is married to an ex-American football player, Tom Rouen. They tied the knot in 2001. Her first marriage, however, was with Alan McDaniel in 1995 and ended in 1998 after they divorced.

Is Amy Van Dyken on Instagram?

The former swimmer is quite dynamic on social media, where she boasts over 33.7k followers on Instagram and 24k followers on X (Twitter) as of November 2023.

Frequently asked questions

Despite her challenges throughout her career, the American swimmer has remained resilient and has been a motivational speaker, empowering other people who have gone through what she has. Here are the frequently asked questions about her.

1. How many gold medals does Amy Van Dyken have?

The retired legend has six Olympic gold medals to her name. She attained this milestone after winning in the 50-metre freestyle, 100-metre butterfly, 4×100-metre freestyle relay, and 4×100-metre medley relay.

2. Will Amy Van Dyken ever walk again?

Amy Van Dyken's height
Amy Van of the United States jokes around before training at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre on 14 September 2000, in Sydney, Australia, during the 2000 Summer Olympics. Photo: Al Bello
Source: Getty Images

Even though the doctors first believed she had suffered significant spinal damage and would probably never walk again, Amy has been determined to be back on her feet.

She is now walking thanks to the assistance of a full-body machine that moves her legs. However, her therapists continue to reduce the machine's support, which makes her struggle more to achieve her goal.

3. Which female has the most gold medals in swimming?

Katie Ledecky has six Olympic gold medals and 14 long-course world titles to her name. She also holds the world records for the 800m and 1500m freestyle, as well as 18 of the 20 fastest 1500m freestyle times in history.

4. Is Amy Van Dyken dead or alive?

As of November 2023, the former Olympic swimmer, Amy Van Dyken, is still alive.

Final word

Amy Van Dyken's successful swimming career made her one of the greatest athletes in the sport's history. After her retirement, she has been involved with various charities to help people with spinal injuries, especially children, by funding medical research into reconnecting severed spinal cords so that individuals can regain their mobility.

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Lenah Ann
Lenah Ann is a Kenyan-based content creator with 2 years of experience. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Media and Communication from Dedan Kimathi, Kenya in 2021.