Dancing with the Stars has landed three big names for its all-athlete season. According to a recent report by Us Weekly, the Season 26 cast will include a trio of Olympians who have plenty of experience gliding across snow and ice. But how will their skills translate to gliding around the DWTS ballroom?
Disgraced former ice skater Tonya Harding, 47, will likely be one of the most controversial additions to the Season 26 cast. She found herself back in the headlines last year thanks to actress Margot Robbie’s portrayal of her in the biographical film I, Tonya. However, to some Dancing with the Stars viewers, Harding’s image will be forever tarnished by that ugly knee-bashing incident at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
As reported by Insider, Tonya Harding’s ex-husband orchestrated an attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan that left Kerrigan unable to compete at the Championships. Harding has maintained that she had nothing to do with planning the assault, but she pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution and was banned from figure skating after the 1994 Olympics.
Nancy Kerrigan competed on Season 24 of Dancing with the Stars last year, so fans who fell in love with her might find it difficult to stomach seeing Tonya Harding on the show. Luckily for those who are decidedly not Team Tonya, there will be plenty of other Olympians for them to root for.
Other athlete competitors include snowboarder Jamie Anderson, who will be hoping to add a Mirrorball Trophy to her collection of Olympic medals. As reported by the Washington Post, Anderson holds the distinction of being the first female snowboarder to score two medals — a gold and a silver — at a single Olympics. She wowed viewers by whirling and twirling through the air at the PyeongChang Games, but how will she fare when her feet aren’t secured to a board?
Jamie Anderson isn’t the only athlete who competed at PyeongChang who will be joining the Season 26 cast of Dancing with the Stars. Charismatic ice skater Adam Rippon, who emerged as a fan favorite during the Games, will be trading his blades for a pair of dancing shoes. As reported by the New York Daily News, Rippon is the first openly gay U.S. male athlete to medal at the Winter Olympics. He helped his teammates bring home the bronze in the team figure skating event.
While ice skaters usually do pretty well on Dancing with the Stars, Adam Rippon expressed some reservations about performing with a partner when People asked him if he was interested in joining in the show.
“I’ve never danced with a partner before,” he said. “So that would definitely be something challenging.”
The all-athlete rendition of Dancing with the Stars will be a mini-season that’s only four weeks long. According to Entertainment Tonight, 10 couples will compete on the show, and two couples will likely be eliminated each week. While the only competitors who have been announced so far are Winter Olympians, a teaser on the DWTS Twitter page hints that viewers may also see baseball, football, and basketball stars on the show.
The complete Dancing with the Stars Season 26 cast will be announced April 13 on Good Morning America, and the show will return April 30 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.