Victoria Arlen has joined ESPN as a contributing features reporter. Along with reporting for espnW and X Games Aspen, the 21-year-old Exeter, N.H. native will also appear on SportsCenter across all platforms.
“We were so impressed by Victoria’s work for us covering the 2015 Special Olympic World Games over the summer, and we are thrilled to have her aboard and contributing across additional ESPN properties and platforms,” said John Wildhack, executive vice president, programming and production. “Victoria is an extremely talented and inspiring young woman who will be certain to bring a unique and diverse perspective to our content.”
Diagnosed at age 11 with two rare conditions; Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, Arlen soon lost the ability to speak, eat, walk and move; doctors believed she had little chance of survival, let alone recovery. Against all odds, she fought through four years of being in a vegetative state and began the near-impossible journey to relearn everyday tasks and functions.
Arlen has since become an accomplished motivational speaker, actress, model and competitive swimmer with three silvers and a gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Arlen has also broken several World, American and Pan American Records.
In May 2015 at age 20, Arlen made the transition from professional athlete to reporter and served as a features venue reporter at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. In addition to her duties with SportsCenter and espnW, Arlen will also be involved with X Games Aspen 2016.
“Words cannot even begin to describe how excited and grateful I am for this opportunity. ESPN truly is a game changer and has the ability to unite the world through sports, which is something I’m incredibly passionate about. Being an athlete and avid sports fan, I couldn’t think of a better place to be,” said Arlen. “Over the years many wonderful people have shared my story and now I’m excited to do the same for others. To have the opportunity to be a part of the ESPN family is truly amazing and an absolute dream come true. I cannot thank enough all of the incredibly kind individuals that helped me get to where I am today, you truly are all amazing! Also a special thank you to my dear friends at ESPN for being so helpful, kind, supportive and believing in me.”