With the cast announcement coming on “Good Morning America” on Feb. 26, it becomes apparent that “Dancing with the Stars” has an affinity for athletes. More than one-third of the competitors are athletes and champions in their field. Let’s take a closer look at “Dancing with the Stars” and the athletic connection.
Aly Raisman – The 18-year-old gymnast was not only captain of her team but won the gold during the 2012 Summer Olympics. She began her training when she was just two years old when she was enrolled in Mommy and Me classes and she hasn’t looked back. With that kind of dedication, Aly brings the attitude and commitment of a champion to whatever she does. Mark Ballas, the two-time “DWTS” champion, will be a definite plus.
Victor Ortiz – The 25-year-old boxer was the WBC Welterweight Champion in 2011. He picked up boxing as a kid because of the hardscrabble nature of his life at the time. The long hours of training and physical endurance should work to his advantage. Though boxers have not fared particularly well on the show he will be partnered with newcomer Lindsay Arnold ant he pair are currently wildcards.
Jacoby Jones – The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver is a member of the 2012 Super Bowl Champion team and a 2012 Pro Bowl player. During the Super Bowl, he achieved the record for the longest kick-off return touchdown at 108 yards. His physical prowess and commitment to excellence will serve him well as he trades his cleats for dance shoes. Karina Smirnoff, a seasoned veteran of “Dancing with the Stars” should be able to mold him into a fine contestant.
Dorothy Hamill – The Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater was famous for moves on the rink – remember the ‘Hamill Camel’? She was also a hairstyle fashionista that started a trend with her short, bobbed haircut. Though it may have been a while since this competitor performed regularly or with the rigor of youth, she still has background and is capable of the endurance and stamina needed to persevere in this competition. Tristan MacManus will bring out the best Dorothy has to offer, no doubt.
Though no past boxers have ever won the mirror ball trophy, three Olympians have: speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and gymnast Shawn Johnson. A former NFL pro, Emmitt Smith has also won. If history is any indicator, the rest of the cast will have to watch out for these four contestants.
Season 16 of DWTS with its all-star cast premieres March 18. Southern Illinois viewers can watch it WSIL-TV, Channel 3.
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