Run of NH's Victoria Arlen ends on 'Dancing With the Stars'

New Hampshire Union Leader
November 13. 2017 10:44PM

Paralympic gold medalist and ESPN sports reporter Victoria Arlen saw her inspirational run on ABC’s hit show “Dancing With the Stars” come to an end Monday night, when she was eliminated from the weekly dance competition.

Arlen, who learned to walk again after beating debilitating conditions that forced her into a wheelchair for 10 years, was paired with two-time Mirrorball champion Valentin “Val” Chmerkovskiy. The two have been competing weekly since the current season began airing on Sept. 18.

The 22-year-old swimmer-turned-dancer, who took home a gold and three silver medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, grew up in Hampstead before moving to Exeter and attending Exeter High School.

Prior to the show airing Monday night, Gov. Chris Sununu wished her luck on Twitter writing, “New Hampshire is rooting for Exeter native @Arlenv1 tonight on @DancingABC. Good luck, Victoria! #603Pride”

Next month Arlen plans to launch a nonprofit, Victoria’s Victory Foundation. The nonprofit’s mission will be to help people around the world achieve their own personal victories, and provide scholarships to organizations that will help children and adults with mobility issues lead more independent lives.

A competitive swimmer as a child, Arlen was diagnosed with transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis at age 11, two rare conditions that stole her voice and left her paralyzed from the waist down.

In 2013, after working her way to Paralympic gold in 2012, she was ruled ineligible for future competition because of the prospect that she could ultimately overcome her disability.

In 2015, she became a sports reporter for ESPN at age 21.

Arlen is also a motivational speaker, actress and model. Her autobiography, “Locked In,” will be published in 2018.


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