EXETER, N.H. — Racked by sudden spasms in her shoulders, back and hands — the things she most relies upon to offset her paralyzed legs — the American swimmer Victoria Arlen failed to qualify for the final in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Paralympics last summer. But she persevered in the freestyle, going on to become one of the competition’s breakout stars. When Arlen returned home to New Hampshire with four medals and a world record, Exeter threw her a parade.

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