Victoria Arlen’s already hectic schedule intensifies this week as the SportsCenter personality takes her mic on the road to the ESPYS and X Games.
Wednesday in Los Angeles, Arlen reports from the ESPYS Experience set outside the Microsoft Theatre that is home to The 25TH ESPYS (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET, ABC). As part of The 2017 ESPYS Red Carpet Live Show, Arlen will introduce performances by rock band OAR and musician Jorge Blanco and interview X Games athletes.
Arlen, 22, then flies to cover X Games Minneapolis (Thursday-Sunday, ESPN, ABC, ESPN3 and ESPN App). Arlen will report as three X Games disciplines – Skateboard Vert, BMX Street and Skateboard Street Amateurs – will be streamed live exclusively to 48 countries on Samsung Gear VR through the Samsung VR app.
These assignments represent just the latest chapter in Arlen’s incredible journey back from paralysis and a vegetative state. Arlen won four swimming medals at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and was a 2013 ESPYS nominee for Best Female Athlete with a Disability.
She regained her ability to walk in April 2016.
Arlen takes a look at her week with Front Row.
How do you study everything you need to know for both the ESPYS and X Games?
I’m very thankful to work with some pretty incredible individuals that help me with everything. And for X Games we have an incredible research team that every few days sends packets of info on athletes and the event which is super helpful. For ESPYs I also have an incredible team that helps keep me organized and we go over every detail of the show layout and scripts. Leading up to both events there are lots of meetings and discussions of everything you need to know about the event. I have worked both events before, so I have a good grasp on how everything works and what to expect.
What did you learn from working The 2016 ESPYS Red Carpet Live Show?
Being a nominated athlete versus being a part of the red carpet show were completely different. Both incredible experiences and quite surreal. In 2013, when I was nominated, I thought is was so cool that ESPN took notice of my accomplishments. I told my family, “keep an eye out you might see me on ESPN.” I was only 18 and I had my hot pink sparkly dress coordinate with my gold wheelchair. It was such a big deal for me and my family. Then when I got the chance to work the carpet show three years later, it was surreal for many reasons. I never in a million years imagined I’d be working for ESPN and also be literally walking the red carpet. I started walking again, after being paralyzed for 10 years, in April 2016.
How will you maintain your social media accounts while handling live interviews with the likes of OAR and other celebrities?
I’m a pretty good multi-tasker so I’ll try my best. But I’m also a big fan of being “in the moment” and not always on my phone. It’s all about balance.
What are you most looking forward to covering at both the ESPYS and X Games?
I honestly am looking forward to all of it. The ESPYS and X Games are so unique and fun. I get to meet so many fun and incredible individuals and I love to hear and share their stories.