Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Swimming » Amy Van Dyken Biography - Swimming To Control Asthma, Success In College, 1996 Olympic Superstar, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - CONTACT INFORMATION

Amy Van Dyken - Swimming To Control Asthma

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Amy Deloris Van Dyken was born February 15, 1973, in Englewood, Colorado, the daughter of Don Van Dyken, president of a computer software company, and Becky Van Dyken. She has a brother and a sister. From the age of ten months, Amy suffered from asthma and allergies that prevented her from joining other children in activities such as school field trips and overnight stays with friends. When she was six, her doctor prescribed swimming for the beneficial moisture in the air and because it requires control of breathing. Although she could not swim the full length of an Olympic-size pool without stopping until she was twelve, Amy kept swimming and fell in love with the sport.

By the time she entered Cherry Creek High School, Van Dyken was six feet tall and a self-described "nerd," who was shunned by other swimmers on the high school team. They called her too slow, threw her clothes in the pool, and spit at her. But Van Dyken, with her strong competitive drive, overcame the insults and worked harder. By her junior year, she was the star of Cherry Creek's swim team, earning six All-American honors, setting three state records, and breaking five school

Amy Van Dyken

records. She was named Colorado Swimmer of the Year and was sought by colleges throughout the West.

Amy Van Dyken - Success In College [next]

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over 11 years ago

Finishing her college career at CSU, Amy had earned an amazing total of 19 Division 1 All American titles. In her Junior year, under CSU coach John Mattos, Amy set a new American record of 21.77 for the 50 yard free style at the NCCA National Championships, the first of many American and World records to come.

In the 1996 Alanta Olympics, Amy earned an increditable 4 gold medals, the most ever for an American woman in a single Olympics, summer or winter. In 2000 Amy went on to win 2 more Olympic gold medals at the Sidney Olympics before retiring from the sport.

Amy and her husband Tom Rouen, who is a 10 year veteran of the Denver Broncos and holder of sevearal NFL punting records, live in Scottsdale Arizona and Keystone Colorado.

Today Amy devotes her time to several charities including Colorado Youth Outdoors where she is instrumental in raising funds to benefit youth at risk.