Photo: ABC/ Craig Sjodin

Val Chmerkovskiy and his partner Victoria Arlen created quite a buzz on the Dancing with the Stars premiere. Their respectable week 1 score of 19 out of 30 and their hot pink outfits put them under the spotlight. There’s a lot more to this dynamic duo so, be sure to read on for some real inspiration.

After being paralyzed for nearly 10 years, Victoria Arlen learned to walk only about a year ago. Though unable to feel her legs, this brave young lady is now on Dancing with the Stars. Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy’s performance on the premiere of Dancing with the Stars season 25 left the audience speechless for the very same reason. This duo is extremely special and has managed to win over the audience since the very first week. Here’s everything you need to know about Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy on Dancing with the Stars.

Victoria Arlen’s Bio 

Born on September 26, 1994, Victoria Arlen is currently a television personality for ESPN. She is also a speaker, actress, and a former American Paralympian swimmer.

At the age of 11, Arlen developed two rare conditions known as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis and transverse myelitis. Owing to this rare ailment, Arlen quickly lost her ability to eat, speak, and move. Doctors believed that there was little chance that she would survive, let alone recover.

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After four years of living in a vegetative state, Arlen began re-learning how to eat, speak, and do everything she once could. She qualified for the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London after a record-breaking world performance at the 2012 Summer Paralympics U.S. swimming trials. And in London, she won not one, not two, but four medals: one gold and three silvers.

From a professional athlete to a sportscaster, Arlen made this incredible transition in 2015. She joined ESPN as one of their youngest on-air talents. In 2016, she learned to walk after having spent nearly a decade being paralyzed from the waist down. After all of these accomplishments, the brave lady took yet another giant step. Arlen was announced as one of the contestants on Dancing with the Stars season 25.

Val Chmerkovskiy’s Bio

Victoria Arlen is partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy on Dancing with the Stars. Born on March 24, 1986, he is an American-Ukrainian professional dancer who is famous for his appearances on Dancing with the Stars, which he won twice.

This exceptionally-talented young man is a two-time World Latin Dance Champion and won the U.S. National Latin Dance Championship 14 times. Since Val Chmerkovskiy’s DWTS journey goes way back, he is an extremely strong contender this season.

Arlen and Chmerkovskiy make one heck of a duo. And the rest of the Dancing with the Stars cast are in for some serious competition!

Also Read: Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson on “Dancing with the Stars” 2017: Injuries Won’t Stop Them!

Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy on DWTS

After the premiere, Victoria Arlen from Dancing with the Stars said, “I think everything presented a challenge. I think the key is, you know, I can’t feel my legs, so not worrying about where my legs are and trusting Val, because he’s like, give me a frame, give me your posture, and we’ll get your legs to go where they need to go.” Chmerkovskiy added, “Every day is a challenge, but every day is an awesome opportunity to grow, and for me as a teacher to figure out a different way of explaining a step, as a choreographer to figure out movement that can be accomplished within the time that we have, and keep building on that. But ultimately we have such a blast. Every little thing of progress is such a celebration for us and you know, life is relative, happiness is perspective, and we have an awesome perspective.” Wow!  Isn’t their perspective simply beautiful?

Not an Easy Journey

Although Victoria Arlen’s DWTS journey is not the least bit easy, her undying spirit and Val Chmerkovskiy’s support is sure to make her stand out.

Recently, she confessed, “I’ve been a fan of the show since I was little. When the show first aired, I told my mom nonchalantly that I was going to be on the show, but I also told her when I was five that I was going to win a gold medal, so she was like, we’re just putting it on this really fun sparkly list and we’ll see what happens. And then obviously never foresaw what would take place after that.”

Well, in spite of all the roadblocks in her way, this young woman has been ruthlessly checking things off her list. So, watch out for Victoria Arlen on Dancing with the Stars. She is a symbol of strength and inspiration. You go, girl!