If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read "President Can't Swim." ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
We swim because we are too sexy for a sport that requires clothes. ~ Author Unknown
If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do all the rest have to drown too? ~ Steven Wright
Amy Van Dyken Rouen
Last week we featured a Quote from Amy Van Dyken. It came to our attention that some readers did not know who Amy Van Dyken is, and others are not aware of her story.
Amy is a Denver native, born February 15, 1973. Van Dyken suffered from severe asthma throughout her childhood and into adulthood. When she was six, she began swimming on the advice of a doctor as a way to strengthen her lungs to cope with her condition and prevent future asthma attacks. By the time she entered Cherry Creek High School, Van Dyken was six feet tall and a self-described "nerd." The other swimmers on the high school team called her too slow, threw her clothes in the pool, and spit at her. But Van Dyken, with her strong competitive drive, overcame the insults and worked harder. By her junior year, she was the star of Cherry Creek's swim team, earning six All-American honors.
After high school, she attended the University of Arizona for two years and then transferred to Colorado State University. At CSU she was already breaking records. Her coach, John Mattos, called her "the type of athlete most coaches only dream about having in their program." After college, she started training full time at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, Van Dyken became the first American female athlete in history to win 4 gold medals in a single Olympic games. Her success in swimming won her a wide variety of awards and accolades. In the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, she placed fourth in the 50-meter and won two more gold medals in women's relays.
On the evening of June 6, 2014, Van Dyken and her husband Tom Rouen, former Denver Bronco punter, went to dinner. Tom took the car and Amy took her ATV because the liked to feel the wind in her hair. Van Dyken was in a severe ATV accident and severed her spinal cord at the T11 vertebra. She was conscious when rescued and airlifted to a hospital where she had emergency surgery to stabilize her spinal cord and vertebral column. Following the initial surgical measures, she was in satisfactory condition. The injury to the area came within millimeters of impacting and potentially rupturing her aorta. However, the accident did leave her paralyzed from the waist down.
After two months of rehabilitation, Van Dyken left Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, saying, "I'm a better person than before the injury." She took her first steps. Amy recently graduated from walking with a walker to using crutches. She did demanding physical therapy three days a week for two hours at a time. And she does it all with a smile.
“You know like my neurosurgeon said, I’m walking through hell with a smile on my face," Van Dyken-Rouen said.
A 6-foot tall Magician had a water glass and was holding the glass above his head. He let it drop to the carpet without spilling a single drop of water.
How could he manage to drop the glass from a height of six feet and not spill a drop of water?
This week Thoughts and Opinions attended a "Lunch and Learn" presentation by the University of Colorado Advocates. Jeff Lukas, University of Colorado Boulder, CIRES Western Water Assessment lectured about "Climate Change and Colorado Water." He quoted from a report, "Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources Management and Adaptation."
He said, "As greenhouse gases and other human effects on the climate continue to increase, Colorado is expected to warm even more by the mid-21st century, pushing temperatures outside of the range of the past century.
The outlook for future precipitation in Colorado is less clear; overall increases or decreases are possible. The
risk of decreasing precipitation appears to be higher for the southern parts of the state. The future warming is projected to generally reduce Colorado’s spring snowpack, cause earlier snowmelt and runoff, and increase the water use by crops, landscaping, and natural vegetation. While future increases in annual natural streamflow are possible, the body of published research indicates a greater risk of decreasing streamflow, particularly in the southern half of the state."
Our research of published data has shown these facts: 80% of annual precipitation goes back to the atmosphere in the form of evaporation; 86% of the remaining water is used for agriculture. James Ecklund, who is heading up the state’s water plan, said, “If you think of Colorado as a rectangle and you draw a line right down the middle of that rectangle, 80 percent of the water falls on the left side of that line (Western Slope,) and 87 percent of the people are on the right side of that line (Front Range)."
See the problem? Conservation is necessary, but it is not enough. The state needs to plan on how to better use the water as it becomes more scarce.
Answer to the Riddle
The glass was empty.
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