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.

Chowder Potís entertainment halted by bloody baseball rivalry and liquor liability

Heavyweight great 'Gentleman' Gerry Cooney on dramatic career and the hardest comeback of all

NASCAR: Logano interview makes UNH writerís dream come true

Nashua's Fayne moves from Devils to Oilers

Granite State Pro Stock Series to make debut at Lee Speedway

BRIAN McCLOSKEY

Ex-UNH hockey coach indicted on four charges

Growing up a hazard to golf: Real world claims talent from NHGA

Concord man wins National Javelin Championship at 2014 USA Track & Field Masters Championship

Conway's Locke happy with first half, believes best yet to come for Pirates

Court filing details prosecution's perjury allegations against Aaron Hernandez girlfriend

Is N.H. really home to longest mini golf hole on the planet?

Professional hockey coming to Berlin

van Riemsdyk setting high expectations for pro career

Life changes in an instant: Travis Roy shares story at Frank Monahan Foundation event

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

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!