As a young child, Amy Van Dyken was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma (EIA), now known as exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). Her asthma is also triggered by allergies and respiratory infections. At that time, her doctors suggested she take up a sport as a way to strengthen her lungs and prevent future asthma attacks. It’s been proposed that exercise has an anti-inflammatory effect in children with asthma. At 6 years old, the Colorado native decided she wanted to be a swimmer. It took her another six years, alongside managing her asthma, to finally be able to swim the full length of the pool.