Current Page: Entertainment | Monday, April 16, 2018
'Dancing With The Stars' Updates: Tonya Harding, Other Athletes to Compete in Season 26

'Dancing With The Stars' Updates: Tonya Harding, Other Athletes to Compete in Season 26

Tonya Harding with pro partner Sasha Farber in the 26th season of 'Dancing With the Stars' | Facebook/dancingwiththestars

Viewers can expect to see a more competitive season of "Dancing With the Stars" with an all-athlete line-up.

ABC formally revealed the names of the newest lineup of contestants in season 26 of "Dancing With the Stars" on "Good Morning America." The list includes some of the most celebrated names in the world of sports.

One of the contestants in the special all-athlete edition of the long-running celebrity dance competition is former figure skater Tonya Harding, whose name became controversial when she was linked to the orchestrated attack on her fellow US Olympian Nancy Kerrigan at the end of a practice session for the 1994 US Figure Skating Championship.

Despite being banned to compete on ice for life, Harding went on to become a professional boxer in the late 1990s.

Harding's involvement in the next installment of "Dancing With the Stars" had been talked about for weeks. A source reportedly told People in early April that the 47-year-old former athlete has been telling everyone that she can ballroom dance, but she knows that joining the competition could pave a way for another comparison between her and Kerrigan who also joined and landed on the sixth spot in season 24.

But according to the source, getting the controversial figure skater on the show will have some advantage. "Tonya gets ratings. God knows, she gets ratings," the source who claimed to be close to Harding stated.

Harding will be paired with dance pro Sasha Farber, who recently married his fellow dancer Emma Slater in March.

Aside from Harding, figure skater Adam Rippon will also vie for the Mirror Ball award for the 26th season of "Dancing With the Stars." The beloved athlete won a bronze medal during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics earlier this year. He is paired with dance pro Jenna Johnson.

When asked about their paring, the openly gay figure skater stated in the interview with "Good Morning America": "I think I really hope I'm not shy. I think Jenna [Johnson] is going to have her hands full and I can't wait."

Women's college basketball star Arike Ogunbowale will also be part of the line-up of "Dancing With the Stars" season 26. When asked how she will manage to fit the rigorous training with pro partner Gleb Savchenko for the show in her already tight schedule, Ogunbowale stated, "I have a lot of stuff going on with school. I still haven't caught up from the Final Four," adding, "But we're definitely going to have time to do it."

The full list of contestants include the 70-year-old NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who is paired with Lindsay Arnold, retired pro baseball outfielder Johnny Damon who is paired with Farber's wife Slater, the 2018 Pyeongchang bronze medalist Mirai Nagasu with Alan Bersten, Olympic luger Chris Mazdzer who will be paired with Witney Carson, Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman with Sharna Burgess, Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch with Keo Motsepe, as well as two-time Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson with Artem Chigvintsev.

The 26th season of "Dancing With the Stars" will premiere on ABC on Monday, April 30, at 8 p.m. EDT.


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