action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

January 25. 2013 9:26PM

Ceremony honors Exeter paralympian


Paralympic athlete and Exeter High School senior Victoria Arlen, 18, was commended for her dedication, hard work and spirit of character during a small ceremony on Friday during which U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen presented Arlen with a copy of the Congressional Record Statement submitted by Shaheen to recongize Arlen's achievements during the 2012 London Paralympics. (GRETYL MACALASTER/Union Leader Correspondent)

EXETER - In the middle of an average school day, an above-average student was recognized by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., for being an inspiration to so many others.

Paralympic athlete Victoria Arlen, a senior at Exeter High School, was commended for her dedication, hard work and spirit of character during a small ceremony attended by her parents and two brothers.

Shaheen presented Arlen and her family with a copy of the Congressional Record Statement titled "A Tribute to Victoria Arlen."

Arlen, 18, was diagnosed with transverse myelitis seven years ago, a neurological disorder that causes inflammation of a section of the spinal cord. The disorder took nearly five years of her life, at least two of which she spent in a vegetative state, and paralyzed her from the waist down.

As a young girl, Arlen had been active in sports, including swimming, and she says that when she learned about disabled sports a couple of years ago, it gave her back her life.

When one of her brothers threw her in the family pool in 2010, Arlen learned she could swim again, and began training.

She resumed competitive swimming at the age of 16 in October, 2011, and shortly thereafter qualified for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where she set a world record and won a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle. She also earned silver medals in three other events.

"Victoria, New Hampshire is so proud of your achievements and is fortunate to have such a wonderful role model to inspire us all," Shaheen said. "

This spring, Arlen will complete another feat, graduating with her two brothers, Cameron and William, from Exeter High School on time after catching up on five years of missed schoolwork in three years.

In addition to finals and graduation events, Arlen is training for international competition in Montreal, Canada, in August.

Arlen is also working on obtaining her driver's license, though her mother, Jacqueline, enjoys driving her daughter to and from the pool each day.

"It is a nice time alone for us in the car. It's a bonding time," Jacqueline Arlen said.

And it is time she does not take for granted after losing her daughter for so many years to her illness.

"It's been quite a journey," Jacqueline Arlen said. "She's touching people and making a difference and that's what it's all about."

Victoria Arlen said she is grateful for the support she has received. "I have many teammates ... who get next to no support and recognition," Victoria Arlen said. "I feel blessed to be part of such an incredible state."


 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Improvements help, but traffic still a problem on race weekend in and around Loudon

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

Pease Golf Course celebrates opening of lower nine holes

NFL rule could signal end of Justin Tuck signature facemask and that's a good thing according to UNH findings

NH man almost wins first $500k winner-takes-all open basketball tournament

Blue Jays move Dalton Pompey up to New Hampshire

Field set for 110th anniversary ĎClimb to the Clouds' car race

Contractors volunteer to complete renovations for 5th Annual Jericho ATV Festival

Dartmouth dismisses menís lacrosse coach

Jay Perrin looks to take his MMA career to the next level at Combat Zone 49

Dartmouth runner poised for long-term success on pro circuit

'Great Race' makes pit stop in Rochester

CHIP KELLY

Chip Kelly: Last practice not Fred Flintstone leaving work

Traffic jams expected with 30,000 fans at Epping dragway

Calgary Stampsí St. Pierre, complete with tattoos and plenty of brawn, not your typical NH wedding planner

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!