Victoria Arlen was diagnosed at age 11 with two rare conditions; Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis. She eventually lost the ability to speak, eat, walk and move and doctors thought she had little chance of survival. Today, Arlen joins ESPN as a contributing features reporter appearing on SportsCenter across all platforms.
Arlen made the transition from professional athlete to reporter last May, serving as a features venue reporter at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. She apparently impressed the right people.
“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 ESPN evp John Wildhack said. “Victoria is an extremely talented and inspiring young woman who will be certain to bring a unique and diverse perspective to our content.”
Arlen fought through four years of being in a vegetative state and went on to earn three silvers and a gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games. She has also broken several World, American and Pan American Records and is an accomplished motivational speaker.
“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.”
In addition to her duties with SportsCenter and espnW, Arlen will also be involved with X Games Aspen 2016.