Just two months after Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen suffered a severed spine that left her paralyzed below the waist, the constantly optimistic athlete left the hospital. She didn’t walk out Thursday, but Van Dyken did say (via NBC News) she’s doing “a thousand times better.”
To document the occasion, Van Dyken-Rouen sent out a series of tweets, Instagram photos and videos narrating her goodbyes and last day at Denver’s Craig Hospital, where she has been undergoing intensive rehabilitation therapy.
— Amy Van Dyken-Rouen (@amyvandyken) Aug. 14, 2014
Van Dyken-Rouen sustained her spinal injury in an all-terrain vehicle accident in June but has been able to keep a positive attitude about her recovery. Just four days after the incident she posted smiling photos of herself on Instagram.
Van Dyken-Rouen won four gold medals swimming at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and came back in 2000 to win two more in Sydney.
The 41-year-old athlete, who has hopes of swimming again, said at a news conference she plans to remain in Colorado to continue therapy in the immediate future but plans to move back to Arizona in late September.