Paralyzed swimmer Van Dyken takes first steps since accident

Amy Van Dyken swims in her heat in the women's 100M Freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in...

Amy Van Dyken swims in her heat in the women's 100M Freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Indianapolis August 13, 2000. (Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:14 PM ET

A week after paralyzed swimmer Amy Van Dyken promised to walk again, she was back on her feet.

On Thursday, two and a half months after severing her spinal cord in an ATV accident, the six-time Olympic champion posted two videos of her progress to Instagram. In one video, with the help of a bionic exoskeleton device and a walker, she was able to stand up from a sitting position. In the other, she took her first steps since the life-changing incident.

“Here it is ... I’m WALKING!!!” she wrote.

The 41-year-old Colorado native made good a commitment she made last Friday on NBC’s Today show.

“My ultimate goal is in August to walk out of here,” she said.

Upon being released from a rehab facility last month, Van Dyken described herself as a “proud paraplegic” and said she was aiming to return to an active lifestyle.

“I’m going to ride bikes, I’m going to mountain climb and I’m going to rock climb,” she told reporters. “I want to do everything.”

Van Dyken also pledged to raise awareness about the need for more research into spinal cord injuries.

“I would love to see a cure for this in my lifetime,” she said.

- with files from Reuters


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