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Victoria Arlen

Victoria Arlen

2022 Unified Cup Ambassador

Victoria Arlen joined ESPN in May 2015 and works as a host and reporter. She reports and hosts across all platforms including Sportscenter, First Take, X Games, Special Olympics, Sportscenter on Snapchat, and many others.

Hired at the age of 20, she became one of ESPN’s youngest on-air personalities ever hired. She made her ESPN television debut as a features venue reporter at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

Arlen has a remarkable story of overcoming odds and adversity. At 11 years old, she was diagnosed with two rare conditions; Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis. She soon lost the ability to speak, eat, walk, and move. She slipped into a vegetative state in which doctors had written her off as a lost cause. Arlen spent nearly four years “locked” inside her own body, completely aware of what was going on but unable to move or communicate. Doctors believed there was little hope of survival, and recovery was unlikely, but Arlen was not ready to give up. In 2010, after almost four years, she began the nearly impossible fight back to life, learning how to speak, eat and move all over again.

She became an accomplished motivational speaker, gold medal winning swimmer, author and television host.

In the Spring of 2016, Arlen defied odds yet again and after spending nearly a decade in a wheelchair paralyzed from the waist down, she was able to learn how to take one step after another and eventually learn how to walk again. Within a year and a half, in the Fall of 2017, she learned to dance as a contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, advancing to the final five.

Her autobiography, entitled “Locked In,” was published in 2018, and in April of 2018, ESPN Films debuted a 30 for 30 titled “Locked In” based on her story. Arlen is carrying out her dream of helping others, serving as the Founder and Co-Chair of Victoria’s Victory Foundation, a nonprofit that assists those with mobility challenges to achieve their own personal victory. In addition to her work with ESPN, she also is a co-host of American Ninja Warrior Junior.

2022 Unified Cup Ambassadors
  • Mitch Albom Detroit native, award-winning author, and journalist, including the best-selling memoir of all time Tuesdays with Morrie
  • Chris Aloisi Former MLS Footballer, Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy
  • Jordan Angeli Former NWSL Footballer, Washington Spirit
  • Victoria Arlen Special Olympics Champion Ambassador, ESPN SportsCenter Host, Gold Medalist
  • Leon Bailey Premier League Footballer, Aston Villa, and member of Jamaica National Football Team
  • Nigel Barker Fashion Photographer, TV Personality, Producer/Filmmaker
  • DaMarcus Beasley Former US Men’s National Team & International Footballer and MLS Footballer, Houston Dynamo
  • Emma Broyles Miss America 2022
  • Chaka Daley University of Michigan Head Coach, men’s soccer program
  • Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Vice President, Community and Impact; President, FundPlay for LeagueApps; Senior Advisor, Proteus International; Olympic Track Gold Medalist
  • Drew McIntyre WWE Superstar, Special Olympics Champion Ambassador
  • Dale Moss Former NFL Player, Model, Actor & Media Personality
  • Oguchi Onyewu Former US Men’s National Team & International Footballer and MLS Footballer, Philadelphia Union
  • Jalen Rose ABC/ESPN analyst, former 13-year NBA star
  • Chris Wingert Former MLS Footballer, Real Salt Lake, NYC FC
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