As I write this the 2012 Paralympic Games are ending in London. Over one thousand athletes competed in the games. New Hampshire’s Victoria Arlen was one of them.
Victoria was born in September, 1994. She has one older brother and two brothers who happened to have been born on the same day she was. As if being a triplet wasn’t interesting enough, Victoria can now also claim the title of Gold Medal Swimmer. Still not impressive enough? How about the fact that she only started competitive swimming a little over a year ago? How about the fact that a few years before that she suffered from transverse myelitis, a disorder that turned an eleven-year-old girl from active to comatose?
Once Victoria was diagnosed, treatment began but left her paralyzed from the waist down. Therapy and learning how to play sled hockey built up her stamina. Victoria decided she wanted to be able to swim again and began competing.
Victoria, the daughter of Jacqueline and Larry Arlen is a senior at Exeter High School. She is trying her hand at acting and modeling and continues to play sled hockey as well as tennis. She’s also looking at colleges.
At this year’s Paralympics, Victoria competed in five events including the 50 meter freestyle and the 100 meter breaststroke. She won gold in the 100 meter freestyle and 3 silver medals in the other events.
British journalist Paul Kelso, writes in the United Kingdom’s The Telegraph: “…Arlen could even turn USA on to an event it largely ignores.”
He’s right. We should pay more attention to the Paralympic Games—and especially to Victoria Arlen.