Behind The ScenesX Games

Victoria Arlen debuts as X Games Aspen features reporter

Victoria Arlen is ready for her X Games reporting debut this week. (Eric Lars Bakke/ESPN Images)
Victoria Arlen is ready for her X Games reporting debut this week. (Eric Lars Bakke/ESPN Images)


ASPEN – Last summer, ESPN features reporter Victoria Arlen made her network debut covering the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles.

This week, Arlen achieves another milestone when she covers action sports for the first time at X Games Aspen.

Sports have taken Arlen around the world – as a motivational speaker, actress and swimmer who won three silvers and a gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Arlen will be involved in various reporting duties at X Games, which run Thursday, Jan. 28-31 on ESPN and ABC platforms. In addition to her duties with X Games, Arlen also reports for SportsCenter and espnW.

She tells Front Row how she’s continuing to make the transition from professional athlete to reporter.

How did you get the assignment overall? What events will you be reporting on specifically?
When I first started at ESPN, word got out of how much of an X Games fan I was. Next thing I knew, I started meeting with the X Games folks and here I am. In Aspen, I’m going to be doing a little bit of everything. You’ll have to watch and see where I’ll be.

How much of a student are you of action sports?
Having three brothers who loved all action sports, you can imagine that it rubbed off on me. I’ve always loved the tricks and insane athleticism it takes to be an action sports athlete. I definitely have always wanted to be an action sports athlete. But, unfortunately, I got a little sidetracked when I was eleven – the whole paralysis and vegetative state thing was a bit of a party pooper for my action sport dreams. [Editor’s Note: At 11, Arlen was diagnosed with two rare conditions that affected her brain and spine: Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis]. But who knows what the future holds?

What did you learn from your Special Olympics World Games assignment last summer?
I not only learned about reporting and being a part of ESPN but I also learned the power in giving someone the opportunity to share their story.

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