Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen was left “shaking” on Wednesday when she said a security guard at a Texas hotel referred to her as “a cripple.”
Officials at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine are apologizing to the former champion swimmer, who was paralyzed in an ATV accident in 2014, for an incident that occurred when she was returning to her room.
“Today was brought by security back to my room and a hotel security guy called Bam Bam said ‘What’s going on here? Escorting the cripples now?!”’ Van Dyken-Rouen, 43, wrote on Instagram. “I’m shaking. I’m sorry my ♿️ buddies also have to deal with this. We need to make that as bad as other slurs.”
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She updated the post to indicate that the hotel’s head of security apologized to her for the incident, and the hotel, which is part of a brand that falls under Marriott International, also apologized on its Twitter account.
Van Dyken-Rouen also noted that her husband, former NFL punter Tom Rouen, received an apology over the phone from the hotel’s general manager.
“We sincerely apologize for this incident, as it does not at all represent our company culture or our other employees here,” wrote Martha Neibling, Gaylord Texan Hotel’s director of public relations, in a statement sent to TODAY. “We are handling the situation and have also spoken with Ms. Van Dyken personally to share our deepest apologies with her.”
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Van Dyken-Rouen also emphasized that it was the actions of one employee, and not indicative of the entire hotel staff.
The six-time gold medalist has been an enduring inspiration as she works to recover from the accident, hitting milestones like standing with the help of an exoskeleton, pedaling a bike with her own strength and getting back into the pool.
Amy Van Dyken-Rouen still upbeat 1 year after accident
Van Dyken-Rouen has not only been diligent in her own recovery, she has also worked hard with her husband to help others by forming Amy’s Army, an organization that helps improve the lives of people with spinal cord injuries, including providing them with equipment that is not covered by insurance.
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