Motocross rider was Conan's 1st deaf guest

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
4:00
PM ET


Two-time X Games Moto X gold medalist Ashley Fiolek, 21, and her father, Jim, provided a challenge the staff of 'Conan' had never faced before: interviewing a deaf guest.

Concerns about chemistry and flow were quickly allayed when talk show host Conan O'Brien's questions came smoothly, and the audience reacted with enthusiasm to her responses, even during the pauses while Jim translated O'Brien's questions and spoke aloud Ashley's answers. Two members of the crew high-fived each other as the audience cheered, and the tense moments were over.

Before going on set, Ashley and Jim practiced the interview in the dressing room, going over the inevitable delay in translating questions. While she can read some lips, Ashley relies on her parents to translate more complex interactions. After a few minutes of coaching, they were ready, and the producers encouraged her to have fun.

The "Conan" appearance was the latest stop in a series of new ventures for the young Moto X star. In April she was featured in a Vogue article and photo shoot and she will soon begin filming a four-episode appearance on ABC Family's drama "Switched at Birth," where she will play Robin Swiller, a motocross racer who is the love interest of a leading character.

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