"Doing great today," she said on Twitter. "Making progress. First
day I sat up. Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers."
Her family said Van Dyken crashed her all-terrain vehicle on Friday
night and was airlifted to a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, where
emergency surgery was performed on her spine.
A photo posted to Instagram showed Van Dyken smiling in a blue
hospital gown, with two cuts on her chin, and balloons and stuffed
toys next to her bed that were sent by well-wishers.
Her room was the most decorated in the intensive care unit, she
tweeted from her account, @amyvandyken.
A second photograph - of her apparently being helped to sit up in
bed by two nurses - was also published on the social media network,
but later appeared to have been taken down.
The 41-year-old Van Dyken is one of the most decorated Olympic
swimmers of all time, winning a total of six gold medals at the 1996
Summer Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Games in Sydney.
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Her family said her spinal cord was completely severed at the T11
vertebrae, but that a broken vertebrae stopped within millimeters of
rupturing her aorta, and that she did not suffer any head trauma.
Her husband, former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen, was with her
when the accident happened.
(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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