Amy Van Dyken Blasts TSA Groping at DIA, Being Called "Cripple" at Hotel

Swimmer Amy Van Dyken is one of the greatest athletes ever born in Colorado — and she's bringing the fierceness that helped her win six Olympic gold medals to advocacy for the disabled.

Van Dyken, now known as Amy Van Dyken-Rouen (she's married to former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen), was paralyzed circa 2014 during an ATV accident in Arizona.

And of late, she's used her Instagram account to call out both the TSA at Denver International Airport, where she says an agent groped her during a search, and the Gaylord Texan Resort in Dallas, at which an employee allegedly referred to her flippantly as a "cripple."

Here's Van Dyken's May Instagram explanation of what happened at DIA:

In a subsequent interview with Inside Edition, Van Dyken stressed that the groping, amid a full-body search, took place even though she had arranged a pre-check clearance.

No surprise that the TSA soon offered Van Dyken a public apology, which she also shared on Instagram.

More recently, Van Dyken castigated Gaylord, an enterprise well known in Colorado; the company announced plans to build a giant operation in Aurora, not far from DIA, before pulling out in 2012.

The Instagram post about what happened includes both an account of the incident itself — in which Van Dyken says one hotel employee said to another, "What's going on here? Escorting the cripples now?" — and the first apology she received, from the hotel's security chief.

Another apology followed, this time from Gaylord's general manager, as Van Dyken documented in a tweet posted on Wednesday evening, June 8.

You can bet the next person who disrespects Van Dyken will have his or her behavior shared publicly, too — and that's a very good thing. She's definitely still got the Olympic spirit.

Here's the aforementioned Inside Edition interview about the TSA at DIA.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts