Photos by Hannah Hemperly
Colorado State renamed West Drive “Amy Van Dyken Way” in honor of six-time Olympic gold medalist and CSU alumna Amy Van Dyken-Rouen Friday morning.
The ceremony was held by the Administration Building on the southwest corner of CSU’s historic Oval, and brought a turnout of fans, friends and family of Rouen. This is the first time a campus street has been named for a former student.
“We’re naming this street, not because you’re Colorado State’s most celebrated athlete, although you are,” President Tony Frank said. “…we’re not naming this street Amy Van-Dyken Way because your path to recovery has simply taken our breath away, although it has. We’re naming this street because we are so proud of you, we love you and welcome home.”
Van Dyken-Rouen’s husband, parents, sister and nieces were among those in celebration, along with her former CSU swimming coach and mentor, John Mattos.
Mattos spoke of her courage through not only each Olympic win, but also the rehab process after she was paralyzed from the waist down from an ATV accident in June.
“As soon as I saw that in her eyes, there was no doubt in my eyes this was real,” Mattos said. “It took so much courage (to come back). That’s what this young lady has.”
Along with naming a street after the Olympian, CSU has dubbed Van Dyken-Rouen as the Grand Marshall of the Homecoming Parade this year.
“I love life, and the fact that I almost lost my life not too long ago has really given me more of a zest and vigor for it and to be able to say that I’m a CSU Ram is one of the greatest things that I could ever say in my entire life,” Van Dyken-Rouen said.
Collegian News Editor Hannah Hemperly can be reached at news@collegian or on Twitter @kawanhannah.