Amy Van Dyken
(born February 15, 1973 in Englewood, Colorado
) is an American swimmer
who has six career Olympic gold medals
. Four of these gold medals came in the 1996 Summer Olympics
, making her the first American woman to accomplish such a feat and the most successful athlete at the 1996 Summer Olympics. She won gold in the 50 meter free, 100 meter butterfly, 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay, and the 4 x 100 meter medley relay.
Van Dyken is an asthmatic who suffered from severe asthma
throughout her childhood and into adulthood. She began swimming on the advice of a doctor as a way to strengthen her lungs to cope with her condition and prevent future asthma attacks.
At the 1992 US Olympic Trials, she placed 4th in the 50 meter freestyle, just missing the Olympic team. After high school, Van Dyken attended the University of Arizona
for two years before transferring to Colorado State University
, where she broke her first (of many more to come) United States record with a time of 21.77 seconds in the 50 yard freestyle at the NCAA championships in 1994. She also placed second in the 100 yard butterfly and the 100 yard freestyle to Olympian Jenny Thompson
. In 1994 she was named the NCAA Female Swimmer of the Year. After college, she moved to the United States Olympic Training Center
in Colorado Springs, Colorado
, to train full-time for the 1996 Olympics.
1996 Summer Olympics - Atlanta
At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, Van... Read More