Last season, Dancing with the Stars awarded its Mirrorball Trophy to Hamilton and Teen Wolf star Jordan Fisher, but fans shouldn't expect any actors to be taking the top prize home this go-around. For Season 26, Dancing with the Stars is limiting the playing field with an all-athletes lineup, and the network announced all the familiar faces we can look forward to seeing, including recent Olympic standouts such as Adam Rippon and Jamie Anderson, iconic legends like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and many more. Let's look at the ten athletes one by one.
As seen above, Adam Rippon is returning to primetime after finding breakout success during the Winter Games in PyeongChang. Using his figure skating skills, Rippon took home a bronze medal, but his impact on the world went far beyond medals, as Rippon also used social media and talk show appearances to spread LGBTQ love and acceptance. We think it'll be his skating athleticism that helps him out the most with Dancing with the Stars partner Jenna Johnson, though.
Arike Ogunbowale is a standout athlete for the Notre Dame women's basketball team, who just recently won the 2018 NCAA Division 1 Women's Basketball Tournament, for which she earned the official MVP status. A 2018 All American that has earned a slew of other honors, Ogunbowale has a shot at adding reality TV success to her long list of accolades, with partner Gleb Savchenko alongside her.
As the only U.S. athlete to ever win a medal in the Men's Single Luge event during the Winter Games, Chris Mazdzer is teaming up with Witney Carson to try and carry on that Olympic success to the small screen for Dancing with the Stars. Granted, he'll need to be standing up instead of laid out, but we think he'll figure it out pretty quickly.
Along with DWTS vet Artem Chigvintsev, Jamie Anderson will aim to see if her dancing skills are as impressive as her snowboarding skills, which she has used to bring home a whopping 15 X Games medals. Of course, she topped that record by taking home gold medals in the past two Winter Olympics, becoming the first U.S. female snowboarder to do so, as well as the first female snowboarder to earn a pair of medals at a single Olympics.
Jennie Finch Daigle is also a former Olympian, having spent much of her life going all around the world showing off her killer softball talents. (The Olympics decided to eliminate softball from the post-Beijing Games.) With partner Keo Motsepe, Daigle seeks to continue inspiring female athletes on Dancing with the Stars, while also wowing audiences with some fancy footwork.
Having spent 18 years in Major League Baseball, Johnny Damon knows a thing or two about running and sliding, but what about dancing? Damon is the only MLB star besides Babe Ruth himself to win a championship with both the Red Sox and the Yankees, and he'll be partnered with Emma Slater to see if he can win Dancing with the Stars, which is something Babe Ruth never did.
Currently one of the most talented (and highest paid) cornerbacks in NFL football, Josh Norman is also well-known off the field, working on prank TV shows such as Disney's Walk the Prank and truTV's Full Court Prank. He'll be partnered up with Dancing with the Stars vet Sharna Burgess for the new season, and we're hoping no pranks are involved on the dance floor.
One of the most legendary basketball players in the history of the sport, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has remained relevant over the years as a columnist and activist. (Not to mention as one of the best parts of Airplane!) He'll also be one of the tallest competitors Dancing with the Stars has ever had, and his partner Lindsay Arnold is going to have her work cut out for her.
Figure skater Mirai Nagasu's name was on everyone's lips during the 2018 Winter Games, where she became the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Winter Olympics, leading her team to a bronze medal win. Will she be able to wow Dancing with the Stars crowds with partner Alan Bersten like she did in PyeongChang? Time will tell.
One of the most controversial sports figures of the 1990s, figure skater Tonya Harding will show off her dancing skills with Sasha Farber for the new season. Riding a wave of renewed recognizance that came with the release of the acclaimed biopic I, Tonya, Harding is following in the Dancing with the Stars footprints of her former nemesis Nancy Kerrigan, so it'll be interesting to see how the two compare.
We don't have much longer to wait to see the new athletes-only season of Dancing with the Stars, which is set to debut on ABC on Monday, April 30, at 8 p.m. ET. To see when all the other new and returning shows are hitting the airwaves soon, head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer premiere schedule.