When the competition reality series “Dancing with the Stars” returns for a new season on April 30, it will feature a shortened season…and a twist.
This season all of the contestants are athletes. The 10 athletes come from seven different sports with dozens of awards, medals, and championships between them.
Fresh off the ice from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeonChang, Korea ice skater Adam Rippon will be pairing up with Jenna Johnson.
Ice skating has the largest representation among the athletes with fellow PyeonChang alum Mirai Nagasu. She holds the record for being the first female to land a triple axle in Korea but can she and pro partner Alan Berstyn set some records on the dance floor.
Also representing the world of ice skating is Tonya Harding who is the first female to ever land a triple axle. She is also the inspiration behind the award winning film “I, Tonya”. Tonya will be partnered with newlywed Sasha Farber.
Representing the world of basketball is Notre Dame female basketball player Arike Ogunbowale. Ogunbowale and her fellow team mates took home the NCAA Women’s Basketball championship last month. Arike is partnered with Gleb Savchenko.
Also representing basketball is Presidential Medal of Freedom honouree and the National Basketball Association’s leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The six time Most Valuable Player will be hitting the dance floor with Lindsay Arnold.
Fresh from becoming the first American male to bring home a medal in the Luge for a single male, Chris Mazdzer will be dancing with Witney Carson.
Fifteen time medal winner in the snowboard, Jamie Anderson also brought home a medal from PyeonChang in February. Now she will test out her Ballroom skills with Artem Chigvintsev.
Representing the hardball players Jennie Finch Daigle is a champion female softball pitcher and was a part of the gold medal winning team in Athens, Greece. Jennie will be dancing with Ballroom champion Keo Motsepe.
Former Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees World Series champion, Johnny Damon becomes the second Major League Baseball player to come to the Ballroom in hopes of hitting a home run and stealing the Mirrorball trophy. Johnny will be dancing with newlywed Emma Slater.
Representing the world of professional football, Josh Norman has some big shoes to fill as he follows in the footsteps of season three champion Emmitt Smith, Donald Driver, Hines Ward, Calvin Johnson, and season 24 winner Rashad Jennings. The Washington Redskins cornerback will be partnered with Sharna Burgess.
Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews will return as hosts for season 26; along with judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli.