Amy Van Dyken Rouen, a six-time Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer, remained hospitalized Monday in an intensive-care unit in Scottsdale after suffering injuries during an all-terrain vehicle accident Friday.
Van Dyken Rouen, 41, was in the ICU at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center but was listed in good condition, a hospital spokesperson said.
Her husband, former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen, told the Denver Post that she suffered a broken back in the accident. The Associated Press reported that she severed her spine. A post on Facebook from the Van Dyken and Rouen families said she severed her spinal cord at the T11 verbebra and that the broken vertebra came within millimeters of rupturing her aorta.
USA Swimming released a statement Monday:
"The USA Swimming family is devastated to learn of Amy Van Dyken's unfortunate accident this weekend. We're happy to hear that she escaped and is now in great care. That she is already 'acting like her typical spunky, boisterous, ebullient self' shows she's on a great path.
"Amy is a champion who has proven throughout her life that she is a fighter who takes on challenges and comes out on top. We know Amy will tackle her rehabilitation with vigor and be back on her feet sooner rather than later."
On Friday, Show Low police officers, according to their report, were dispatched to the Torreon Golf Club at 7:55 p.m. after receiving a 911 call about Van Dyken Rouen's accident.
Van Dyken Rouen was conscious but had trouble breathing and was without feeling in her legs. A witness saw Van Dyken Rouen drive an ATV through a parking lot and "launch over" a curb. She was not wearing a helmet. The witness said he ran to Van Dyken Rouen, found her unresponsive and called 911.
Rouen told the Denver Post that the ATV tumbled down an embankment. He was on a motorcycle and came to Van Dyken Rouen's aid.
"She wasn't breathing," Rouen told the Post. "I raised up the back of her neck with my hand; she started gasping for air."
Police spoke with Rouen, who said he had recently switched the throttle mechanism on the ATV from a thumb accelerator to a twist accelerator and did not know whether that was a factor in the accident. The police found no evidence of alcohol being a factor in the accident, and no charges were filed.
Van Dyken Rouen was transported by helicopter to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn.
Rouen told the Post that his wife was "in good spirits." He added that after surgery, "she needed about three days before she is out of the woods. She is strong and has a great attitude."
University of Arizona swim coach Rick DeMont said Van Dyken Rouen "had the meet of her life (at the 1996 Olympics) at the right time and goes down in history because of it. That's something you can never take away. I wish her all the best. I hope there is some healing coming."
2012 Olympian Breeja Larson said of Van Dyken Rouen: "It's heartbreaking for someone whose whole passion is to be active. To have it stripped from you is really rough. I hope the best for her. I can't even fathom what my Plan B would be (if put in the same situation)."
Van Dyken Rouen, 41, overcame asthma to win the 50-meter freestyle and 100 butterfly at the 1996 Olympics and also was on two winning relays, becoming the first U.S woman to win four golds at one Olympics. She added two more Olympic relay golds in 2000.
She has lived in Arizona in recent years, working in local radio and later nationally for Fox Sports Radio. She swam for the University of Arizona for two years before transferring back to her home state to attend Colorado State. She was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame in 2008.
PHOTOS: AMY VAN DYKEN
Jeff Metcalfe writes for the Arizona Republic
Contributing: The Associated Press