Amy Van Dyken Won Four Gold Medals in One Olympics

on February 13, 2005

At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga., swimmer Amy Van Dyken-a native of Englewood (pop. 31,727)-became the first U.S. woman to earn four gold medals at a single Olympiad. Van Dyken, who has asthma, began swimming at age 6 after her doctor suggested that it would help build lung capacity; it was seven years before she could swim the length of the pool.The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve became the nation’s 58th national park last September. Located in the San Luis Valley northeast of Alamosa (pop. 7,960), the park contains more than 30 square miles of sand dunes (some as tall as 750 feet), six peaks that reach 13,000 feet elevation, alpine lakes, grasslands, wetlands, and large stands of aspen and cottonwood trees-all providing a diverse wildlife habitat. Also found there are several 9,000-year-old archaeological sites.

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