Victoria Arlen

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Victoria Arlen
Victoria Arlen Project Walk.jpg
Victoria Arlen on her road to recovery at Project Walk in San Diego
Personal information
Full nameVictoria Arlen
Born (1994-09-26) September 26, 1994 (age 24)
Exeter, New Hampshire, U.S.
StrokesFreestyle, breaststroke
ClubNorth Shore Sharks

Victoria Arlen (born September 26, 1994) is a current television personality for ESPN,[1] as well as an actress, speaker, model, and former American paralympian swimmer.[2]

Arlen is a triplet and has two brothers.

Arlen, at the age of eleven,[3] developed two rare conditions known as transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. This was an extremely rare scenario, and Victoria quickly lost the ability to speak, eat, walk, and move. She slipped into a vegetative state in which recovery was unlikely. Arlen spent nearly four years "locked" inside her own body, completely aware of what was going on, just unable to move or communicate. Doctors believed there was little hope of survival, and recovery was unlikely.[4]

In 2010, after almost four years, Arlen began re-learning how to speak, eat, and move.[3]

In June 2012, after a world record-breaking performance at the 2012 Summer Paralympics US swimming trials, Arlen qualified for the 2012 Summer Paralympics held in London, as a member of Team USA. In London, she won four medals: one gold and three silver.[5]

In April 2015, Arlen made the transition from professional athlete to sportscaster and joined ESPN as one of the youngest on-air talents hired by the company.[1]

By April 2016 she had learned to walk after spending nearly a decade paralyzed from the waist down.[3] She still has no sensation in her legs.[6]

On September 6, 2017, Arlen was announced as one of the celebrities who would compete on the 25th season of Dancing with the Stars. She was partnered with professional dancer, Valentin Chmerkovskiy.[7] The couple managed to reach the semi-finals, but was ultimately eliminated and placed fifth in the competition.


  1. ^ a b "Paralympian Gold Medalist Victoria Arlen Joins ESPN as Features Reporter - ESPN MediaZone". Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  2. ^ "Victoria Arlen". Victoria Arlen. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  3. ^ a b c Arlen, Victoria; Roenigk, Alyssa. "One small step -- My 10-year journey from a wheelchair to walking". Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  4. ^ "Meet the woman who was 'locked in' her own body for 4 years". April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Victoria Arlen". PureHockey. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012.
  6. ^ "'Dancing With the Stars' celeb Victoria Arlen on performing while not feeling her legs". 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  7. ^ "'Dancing With the Stars' season 25 celebrity cast: Frankie Muniz, Barbara Corcoran, Nick Lachey and more". ABC News. September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017.