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U.S. swimming champ Van Dyken says getting stronger after accident

DENVER (Reuters) - American Olympic swimming champion Amy Van Dyken said on Friday she was getting stronger and did not need more surgery, but that a rumor she was no longer paralyzed after severing her spine in an accident last week was wrong.

Van Dyken, 41, one of the most decorated Olympic swimmers of all time, is in hospital in Arizona but will be transferred to the Craig Hospital in suburban Denver, which specializes in spinal cord and brain injuries.

"I just heard a rumor that I'm not paralyzed anymore. Sorry to say, it is NOT true. Please don't listen to misinformation. Sorry someone said that," she said on Twitter.

Van Dyken has posted photos to social media showing herself smiling, surrounded by the balloons and stuffed toys sent by well-wishers. On Friday, she published a picture of herself eating a bowl of breakfast cereal, a finger to her lips.

"Happy Friday! No more surgeries for this girl, so I celebrate with Froot Loops ... SHHH, don't tell! #GettingStronger," she wrote.

Van Dyken crashed an all-terrain vehicle near her Arizona home last week and was airlifted to a hospital in Scottsdale for emergency surgery on her spine. Her husband, former Denver Broncos punter Tom Rouen, was with her at the time.

Her family said Van Dyken, who won six gold medals at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Games in Sydney, suffered a completely severed spine in the crash but that she had not suffered any head trauma.

(Reporting by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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